(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Listening to our history : inculturation and Jesuit slaveholding"

Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/listeningtoourhi285beck 






imWrWi 






HL« 



iiffi 



1 



BBIbWI 







■ 1bb| IBflHiaH 

I x. ■ ■■ l^ ■■ ,«,>tt£/* B 
1 ■■ HHHHH j^J* r 

•,'•'.'. ■ ■■■■■■■■■■■ 



dDMyuranMI 

H 



^«i 



rail 
1 En 

■ v>M§L 



1 1 i^^i^l 

Pm? ■■■■ 

ftiiBi -$$3 










Listening to Our History 

Inculturation and Jesuit Slaveholding 



Edward F. Beckett, S J. 

WEILL LIBRARY 



BOSTON COLLEGE 



0EC18 




28/5 • NOVEMBER 1996 



THE SEMINAR ON JESUIT SPIRITUALITY 

A group of Jesuits appointed from their provinces in the United States. 

The Seminar studies topics pertaining to the spiritual doctrine and 
practice of Jesuits, especially American Jesuits, and communicates the results to 
the members of the provinces. This is done in the spirit of Vatican II's recom- 
mendation that religious institutes recapture the original inspiration of their 
founders and adapt it to the circumstances of modern times. The Seminar wel- 
comes reactions or comments in regard to the material that it publishes. 

The Seminar focuses its direct attention on the life and work of the 
Jesuits of the United States. The issues treated may be common also to Jesuits 
of other regions, to other priests, religious, and laity, to both men and women. 
Hence, the studies, while meant especially for American Jesuits, are not exclu- 
sively for them. Others who may find them helpful are cordially welcome to 
read them. 

CURRENT MEMBERS OF THE SEMINAR 

Peter D. Byrne, S.J., is presently engaged in a sabbatical program after serving as 
rector and president of St. Michael's Institute in Spokane, Wash. (1994). 

Francis X. Clooney, S.J., teaches comparative theology at Boston College, 
Chestnut Hill, Mass. (1994). 

Ernest C. Ferlita, S.J., teaches theater at Loyola University, New Orleans, La. 
(1994). 

Gerald P. Fogarty, S.J., teaches history in the department of religious studies at 
the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va. (1995). 

M. Dennis Hamm, S.J., teaches Scripture at Creighton University, Omaha, Neb. 
(1994). 

John P. Langan, S.J., is visiting professor of philosophy at Loyola University, 
Chicago, 111. (1996). 

John W. Padberg, S.J., is chairman of the Seminar, editor of STUDIES, and direc- 
tor and editor at the Institute of Jesuit Sources (1986). 

Clement J. Petrik, S.J., is assistant to the provincial of the Maryland Province 
for pastoral ministries (1995). 

Carl F. Starkloff, S.J., teaches theology at Regis College, Toronto, Canada 
(1995). 

James S. Torrens, S.J., is an associate editor oi America in New York (1996). 

The opinions expressed in STUDIES are those of the individual authors thereof. Parenthe- 
ses designate year of entry as a Seminar member. 

Copyright © 1996 and published by the Seminar on Jesuit Spirituality 
3700 West Pine Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108 
(Tel. 314-977-7257; Fax 314-977-7263) 



Listening to Our History 

Inculturation and Jesuit Slaveholding 



Edward F. Beckett, SJ. 



STUDIES IN THE SPIRITUALITY OF JESUITS 

28/5- NOVEMBER 1996 



For your information . . . 

My remarks in the last issue of STUDIES began with the exclamation "You 
never know!" The remarks in this issue might well begin in the same way because of 
a quite unusual story of how a Jesuit vocation began. 

In the last issue of STUDIES, we published as a Source an excerpt from an 
Alexandre Dumas novel, The Vicomte de Bragelonne. The excerpt purported to reveal 
the mysterious details involved in choosing a new Jesuit general. It was and is pure 
fantasy. 

But last summer, as a young Jesuit from eastern Europe and I talked during 
breakfast at the Jesuit community on the Rue de Grenelle in Paris, the Dumas novel 
reappeared in an astonishing way. This Jesuit had grown up in a country behind the 
Iron Curtain where there were no members of the Society of Jesus. Russian was a 
compulsory language in his school, so to improve his knowledge of it he decided to 
read a Dumas novel in Russian translation. That novel was The Vicomte de Brage- 
lonne, and there for the first time he met members of the Society of Jesus. He was so 
struck by them, even in the fantasyland of a Dumas novel, that he wanted to get in 
touch with them. When the Iron Curtain parted, he was able to do so, and a few 
years later he entered the Society of Jesus. You never know! 

To continue these remarks on books and Jesuits, a new such book, The 
Society of Jesus in Ireland, Scotland, and England, 1541-1588: "Our Way of Proceeding?' 
(New York: E. J. Brill) is a first-rate publication, both fascinating and scholarly. The 
author is Thomas M. McCoog, S.J., a member of the Maryland Province, presently 
archivist of the British Province and a member of the Jesuit Historical Institute in 
Rome. From the introduction, entitled "Lewdly Cal Jebusites," to the conclusion, 
"Our Way of Proceeding," this is the "critical— and not apologetic— account of Jesuit 
activities between the first mission to Ireland (1541) and the collapse of the Armada 
(1588)." 

A book soon to be published by the Institute of Jesuit Sources will for the 
first time gather into an English translation the Memoriale (the spiritual autobiogra- 
phy/diary of Pierre Favre) and a collection of his spiritual letters. It is timed to come 
"out this year, the 450th anniversary of the death of Favre, the first companion of 
Ignatius of Loyola in Paris. Nineteen ninety six is of significance for other reasons as 
well: it marks the 350th anniversary of St. Francis Borgia's entrance into the Society 
and of St. Isaac Jogues's martyrdom. By coincidence I am writing these lines on 
September 18, the day on which Saint Isaac Jogues heroically went to his death. 

This was a busy year for the IJS as it went about its book-publishing 
enterprises. In the course of the calendar year, we have published Draw Me into Your 
Friendship by David Fleming, S.J.; On Giving the Spiritual Exercises: The Early Jesuit 
Manuscript Directories and the Ojfcial Directory of 1599 by Martin E. Palmer, S.J.; A 



lit 



Harvest of Hope: Jesuit Collegiate Education in England, 1794-1914 by Ian D. Roberts; 
and The Documents of the Thirty-Fourth General Congregation. Within the next two 
months will appear The Constitutions of the Society of Jesus and Their Complementary 
Norms; Terpsichore at Louis-le-Grand: Baroque Dance on the Jesuit Stage in Paris by- 
Judith Rock; and The Spiritual Writings of Pierre Favre: His "Memoriale" and Selected 
Letters. And finally, a somewhat different type of publication will issue from our 
workshop, a CD-ROM bearing the title Polanco: The Writings of Saint Ignatius of 
Loyola, containing all of his almost 7,000 letters and his other works in their original 
languages. About all of these last-named publications, more in the next issue of 

Studies. 

We live in a world of change; so, given the gradual increase in the price of 
paper, printing, and postage, we must expect an increase in the cost of producing and 
delivering STUDIES as well. Regretfully but necessarily, we must therefore increase 
the subscription price of the journal. The details of this first increase in two years 
will be found on the inside back cover of this issue. 



John W. Padberg, SJ. 
Editor 



Please see new subscription-price 
information on inside back cover. 



IV 



CONTENTS 



Introduction: The Two-edged Sword 1 

The Maryland Tradition 4 

The Slave System 7 

A Church in Chains 10 

Collaborators in Mission 12 

Jesuit Mission without Jesuits: Slaves and the Diocesan System 16 

Jesuit Ministry and Racism: The Example of Mobberly 20 

Cruelty and Consequences: Jesuits and the Maltreatment of Slaves 23 

A Glimpse of Freedom? 25 

Foreign and Native Missioners 28 

Money and Schools 31 

Selling the Slaves 35 

The Aftermath of the Sale: Mulledy's Disgrace 40 

Conclusion: History, Discernment, and Inculturation 45 



Listening to Our History 

Inculturation and Jesuit Slaveholding 



Introduction: The Two-edged Sword 

This essay is an exerc.se in listening-listening to a chapter of our 
history and to what that history has to say about a particular 
instance of inculturation. That particular instance is Jesuit slavehold- 
ing in Maryland from the early eighteenth through the early nineteenth 
centuries. It may in places surprise, disconcert, anger, or edify the reader. 

Inculturation has been a theological buzzword in Catholic circles for 
over a quarter of a century. Simply put, it refers to the proclamation of the 
Gospel within a given culture in such a way as to win for it a more ready 
reception. It is, for the most part, considered an almost unambiguous good 
and an absolute necessity if Christianity is to remain relevant in the twenty- 
first century. I would like to suggest that inculturation is more ambiguous 
than it might seem. As often as not, it is a two-edged sword. 

For one thing, we must acknowledge that much of what we under- 
stand as the "Gospel" is, in fact, the product of a given culture and its 
outlook on things. We must also recognize that the Gospel— that is, the 
witness of Jesus to the Kingdom's arrival and his subsequent life, death, and 
resurrection, "the power of God for salvation," as Paul proclaimed it (Rom. 
1:16)— often acts as a powerful critic in the face of certain cultural practices. 
Sorting out what is of God, and what is not, is no simple task. It involves 
much listening not only to our present circumstances but also to our past. 

What are we talking about when we refer to "inculturation"? The 
Thirty-fourth General Congregation has adopted Peter-Hans Kolvenbach's 



Edward F. Beckett, S.J. (MAR), has recently been appointed to the staff of the 
Father McKenna Center in Washington, D.C. After receiving his M.Div. degree at the 

Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Mass., he studied at the Irish School of 
Ecumenics and Trinity College in Dublin and received the M.Phil, degree (Peace Studies) 
from the latter institution. His address is the Jesuit Community at 19 Eye Street, NW, 

Washington, D.C. 20001. 



2 * Edward F. Beckett, SJ. 

description of inculturation as "the existential dialogue between a living 
people and the living Gospel." It also proclaims that this dialogue is, in fact, 
"a form of incarnation [emphasis in the original] of the Word of God in all 
the diversity of human experience." 1 In the words of Pope John Paul II, 
addressed specifically to the church in Africa, the inculturated proclamation 
of the Gospel is a "question of bringing Christ into the very center of 
African life, and lifting up all African life to Christ. Thus not only is 
Christianity relevant to Africa, but Christ in the members of his body is 
himself African." 2 As Peter Schineller has pointed out, inculturation is not, 
then, about imposition, translation, adaptation, and the like, but, above all, 
about incarnation. 3 Inculturation means the Gospel as flesh and bone within 
a given culture— fully human, fully divine. 

All of the above I find exemplary. There is no question in my mind 
how necessary it is for us to remind ourselves frequently that inculturation 
must always be the expression of the attitude that "God is everywhere to be 
found in his world. . . . There is nothing in which he cannot be found. . . . 
We are united with God, not in spite of things but through them, not in 
spite of our humanity but through it," as Joseph Veale has so simply phrased 
it (or, if you will, paraphrased it) in a recent issue of STUDIES. 4 My problem 
is not that inculturation is wrongheaded or a watering-down of the Gospel; 
quite the contrary. I only wish to emphasize that too often we are creatures 
of our own culture's blindness. This, then, is the chief "vice" of inculturation: 
our own inability to transcend our limited perspective; this in turn breeds 
passivity and complicity in the face of the Gospel's challenge to our own 
culture's practices (or our own culture's proclamation of the Gospel, as the 
case may be). And here I would include the Society and the Roman Catholic 
Church as "cultures." 5 

What, then, is to be done? To paraphrase Paul, "Woe to us if we do 
not preach the Gospel!" (1 Cor. 9:17). The key, I think, is to cultivate what 
might be termed the "virtues" of inculturation: prudence, courage, faith, and, 



1 Decree 4, in Documents of the Thirty-Fourth General Congregation of the Society 
of Jesus (St. Louis: Institute of Jesuit Sources, 1995), $77 (p. 50). 

2 "The African Bishops' Challenge," an address to the bishops of Kenya given on 
May 7, 1980, quoted in Peter Schineller, A Handbook on Inculturation (Mahwah: Paulist 
Press, 1990), 9. The original appeared in Origins, January 19, 1984. 

^Handbook, 14-21. 

4 "St. Ignatius Speaks about "Ignatian Prayer," STUDIES IN THE SPIRITUALITY OF 
JESUITS 28, no. 2 (1996): 13. 

5 See Schineller, Handbook, 114. 



Listening to Our History •h 3 

above all, love. 6 What might the practice of these virtues consist of? Here I 
will name just one— listening. Listening is at the heart of Ignatian prayer and 
discernment: listening to God in one's own experience and history, listening 
to the experience of God in the lives of others. Quite simply, we need to 
listen. No other practice can be as fruitful or as worthwhile. For, as Frank 
Clooney recently reminded us, "If we listen, then we learn to speak." 7 So we 
should listen— to the voice of God emanating from the Scriptures, the 
liturgy, the cries of those in need, the sound of nature's murmurings, and, 
perhaps most carefully, to God's voice within our own hearts. 

However, a complementary spirit must be given its due, the spirit of 
critical attentiveness. Listening does not supply only answers. In fact, more 
often than not it leads to questions. Cultivating a critical ear, one that allows 
one to ask the right question at the right time, is an absolute prerequisite to 
fruitful and mutually transformative dialogue. The critical discernment of 
spirits is at the heart of the kind of listening Ignatius considered the key to 
finding God in all things. 

I suggest there is one other important source we, as a corporate 
body, need to listen to— our history. 

To understand any Jesuit ministry, we must examine the modalities 
in which that ministry is given flesh-and-blood reality. Concretely put, we 
must answer the following questions: Who is engaged in ministry? For 
whom, with whom, and to whom does the minister exercise ministry? 
Whom does the minister work over or under? Where does the ministry take 
place? With what means and to what end? What qualities does the ministry 
make use of? What quantities or material resources? To understand any 
particular mission and ministry, we must fix our gaze on the concrete 
historical modalities through which Jesuit ministry took place. There is no 
other privileged point of access to understanding the minister and the 
ministry, as well as those ministered to. 

What follows, as I said, is an exercise in listening. In the history of 
Jesuit slaveholding in the Maryland Province, we hear a variety of voices. 
Some clamor for further expression and our ears burn with what we think 
we hear in their undertones; other voices scald our ears in a different 



6 See ibid., 116-18. See also William Spohn, S.J., "The Return of Virtue Ethics," 
Theological Studies 53, no. 1 (1992): 60-75, and the recent piece by James Keenan, S.J., 
"Proposing Cardinal Virtues," Theological Studies 56, no. 4 (1995): 709-29, on the role of 
the virtues in contemporary theology. 

7 "In Ten Thousand Places, in Every Blade of Grass: Uneventful but True 
Confessions about Finding God in India, and Here Too," STUDIES IN THE SPIRITUALITY 
OF JESUITS 28, no. 3 (1996): 37. 



►I* Edward F. Beckett, SJ. 



manner. Somewhere in the retelling, I am certain that you, like me, will 
recognize something of yourself. The point of the exercise is precisely that- 
drawing upon lessons from the past to enlighten our current attempts at 
inculturation. 



The Maryland Tradition 

On March 25, 1634, Fr. Andrew White of the Society of Jesus 
offered Mass on St. Clement's Island at the mouth of the Potomac 
River. Thus began the Maryland Mission. Roman Catholics never 
numbered more than one-twelfth of Maryland's colonial population at any 
given time. 8 However, because the settlement had originated as a proprietary 
colony, Cecil Calvert (the second Lord Baltimore, Maryland's first governor 
and himself a Roman Catholic) was able to avoid having any church estab- 
lished within its boundaries. Maryland's early experiment with religious 
liberty was rocky, but it provided the Roman Catholic Church with a 
foothold in the English-speaking colonies. 9 

It is clear that from the very beginning the Maryland Jesuits saw 
themselves as men sent to be of help to souls. Writing to the Superior 
General of the Society of Jesus, Andrew White boasted of the fertile soil in 
which the Catholic faith could be planted in Maryland. "Who then can 
doubt that by one such glorious work as this, many thousands of souls will 
be brought to Christ? I call the work of aiding and saving souls glorious: for 
it was the work of Christ, the king of glory." 10 Noble desires, no doubt. But 
what was the specific aim of this "work of glory"? And who was to do it? 
How was this work to be accomplished? 

Jesuit missionaries came to Maryland as self-supporting settlers who 
took up land like any other colonists. Their chief interest was the evangeli- 
zation of the indigenous peoples of America. 11 Zeal for the conversion of 
Maryland's natives led to a large number of recruits for the mission. This 
was, after all, the age of New France and the Jesuit Relations. Spanish Jesuits 



8 R. Emmett Curran, ed., American Jesuit Spirituality: The Maryland Tradition, 
1634-1900 (Mahwah: Paulist Press, 1988), 11. 

9 See James Hennesy, American Catholics: A History of the Roman Catholic 
Community in the United States (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982), 40-42, on the 
volatile history of Maryland's religious practice. 

10 Curran, American Jesuit Spirituality, 48. 

11 See ibid., 8-14. 



Listening to Our History *£• 5 

had been active in Florida and Virginia even as early as 1566. 12 The conver- 
sion of North America seemed well underway. As one would-be missioner 
wrote from Liege in 1640, 

The ardent zeal and earnest desire of concurring in the conversion of those 
poore Indians of Maryland, which your Reverence in your exhorting letter 
doth sufficiently declare, stirred up in me a confidence that no employment 
whatsoever is like to prove an obstacle to such as find in themselves a true 
desire of going to assist those needy soules, so dearly bought, and so long 
neglected. 13 

Curran goes on to describe the rigors of the mission. Eight of the first 
twelve Jesuits sent to Maryland would die by violence or disease, and the 
average missioner lived less than ten years after he had arrived (10). There 
were never more than five Jesuits in the colony throughout the latter part of 
the seventeenth century and only twenty-three were at work on the eve of 
the Suppression in 1773 (13). The tenuous peace afforded by the Maryland 
Assembly's 1649 Act of Toleration was under constant threat. The Maryland 
Jesuits were forced to flee anti-Catholic Puritan persecutors in 1654, and in 
1691 Maryland was declared a royal colony. Penal laws were applied the 
following year after the Church of England had been established within the 
colony. Maryland Catholics were completely disenfranchised in 1718, and 
until the revolution Catholic life within the colony was muted and wary. 14 
Clearly, the Maryland Mission was a difficult one, fraught with danger and 
uncertainty. 

Within fifteen years of their arrival, the Maryland Jesuits had 
abandoned their mission to the natives and focused their work on the 
English-speaking Catholic population of the colony. 15 The decision to do so 
resulted in the Jesuits' becoming part of the Southern slaveholding system. 
From the early eighteenth century until the sale of the slaves in 1838, the 
Jesuits of the Maryland Mission owned slaves. Why? And how did they 
exercise their ministry among the slaves? What relationship existed between 
the slave and his or her Jesuit master? 

The status of Jesuits as landholders— "priest-planters," if you will- 
was an integral element in their missionary strategy; it could be called an 
inculturated strategy. The Jesuits purchased land in order to support their 
mission in Maryland. Owning land and maintaining the farms made possible 
their ministry to the Catholic residents of the colony. By the mid-eighteenth 



12 Hennesy, American Catholics, 12-25. 

13 Curran, American Jesuit Spirituality, 57. 

14 John Tracy Ellis, American Catholicism (Garden City, N.Y.: Image, 1965), 38f. 

15 Curran, American Jesuit Spirituality, 10. 



6 •*• Edward F. Beckett, SJ. 

century, the Jesuits owned over twelve thousand acres of farm land, thus 
ranking among the largest landowners in the colony. 16 

The Jesuits were, legally speaking, ordinary colonists. Their planta- 
tions were engaged in the ordinary occupations of the time: farming, raising 
and butchering livestock, and small-scale manufacturing. For example, they 
made candles and shoes, they engaged in weaving and smithery. 17 Jesuit 
farms were typical colonial plantations, except that the proprietors were 
missionary priests and the plantations were being used to support their 
missionary activities. 

In addition to their managerial duties, the Jesuits were circuit riders 
and itinerant ministers to the scattered English-speaking Catholic population 
of colonial America. 18 Offering Mass in a house chapel, preaching and 
teaching catechism, visiting the sick and dying, presiding at weddings and 
funerals, administering the sacraments, hearing confessions, working among 
the native peoples— these activities were the lifeblood of the mission and 
ministry of the early Maryland Jesuits. To assist them in their duties, the 
planter-priests of Maryland hired plantation overseers. 19 

From the very beginning of their landholding in Maryland, the 
Jesuits were dependent upon servants bound to the land. At first they relied 
on indentured servants. 20 After a term of service that lasted on the average 
from four to seven years, these tenured servants became landowners or 
tenants in their own right and often leased land from the Jesuits to whom 
they were previously bound. 21 



16 Peter C. Finn, "The Slaves of the Jesuits of Maryland" (M.A. thesis presented 
at Georgetown University), If. 

17 Ibid., 3f. 

18 See Curran, American Jesuit Spirituality, 1 If. 

19 Typical of this arrangement would be a contract by which the manager acted 
as overseer in return for some share of the crops. See "Contract between Fr. Pulton and 
John Pavat, the Overseer of the Slave Quarters (1743)," in the Maryland Province 
Archives, 99 W3-Z2. It is interesting to note that Pavat also received shares for his slave, 
Matthew. Apparently Matthew was employed on the Jesuit farm and therefore had to be 
supported by the Jesuits. 

Lay brothers would eventually take over many of the manager's duties on the 
Jesuit farms. There were, however, never more than two in the entire mission until the 
nineteenth century (see Finn, "Slaves of the Jesuits," 26). 

20 R. Emmett Curran, "Splendid Poverty: Jesuit Slave-Holding in Maryland, 
1805-1838," in Catholics in the Old South: Essays in Church and Culture, ed. Randall Miller 
and Jon Waklyn (Macon: Mercer University Press, 1983), 126. 

21 Finn, "Slaves of the Jesuits," 6-8. 



Listening to Our History -I* 7 

The origins of slavery on the Jesuit farms are hazy. By 1765 there 
were 192 slaves at work there. 22 These slaves were either acquired along with 
large tracts of land given to the Jesuits by generous Catholic benefactors or 
purchased by the Jesuits when indentured labor was no longer available. 23 It 
is clear, however, that less than one hundred years after they had first 
purchased land in Maryland, the Jesuits of the Maryland Mission had 
become members of the slaveholding system that dominated the American 
South until the Civil War. 



The Slave System 

Slavery is fundamentally a relation of domination. 24 Strictly speaking, to 
be a slave meant that one was legal property under the absolute 
control of one's owner: slaves had no legal claim upon society. They 
were not the subject of rights, but an object— a living tool, so to speak. 
Slavery has been described as a "human parasitism" in which slaveholders 
camouflage their dependence upon slave labor by creating an ideology of 
slavery. 25 According to this ideology, the right to enslave stems from the 
ability to do so. Superior peoples conquer and enslave inferior peoples. 
These people are, in fact, meant to be enslaved. They even benefit from their 



22 Curran, "Splendid Poverty," 126. Of these 192, only 102 were working, the 
others being too old or too young for such service. Fr. Joseph Zwinge, S.J., interviewed 
the ex-slave "Aunt Louise" in 1912; she claimed that her ancestors had been a gift from 
Lord Baltimore (Cecil Calvert) to the Jesuits. (See "The Jesuit Farms in Maryland," 
Woodstock Letters 41 [April 1912]: 204.) We know that two mulattoes had accompanied 
Andrew White to Maryland in 1634. The question naturally arises whether the two 
mulattoes who accompanied the first Jesuits to Maryland were slaves. There is no 
definitive evidence that they were. There is also no definitive evidence that they were not. 
There is also speculation that two "servants" at St. Inigoes in 1696 may have been slaves. 
Given that St. Inigoes was the oldest of the Jesuit estates and the closest geographically to 
St. Mary's City, Fr. Andrew White's original mission station, a seventeenth-century 
origin for Jesuit slaveholding in Maryland cannot be ruled out (see Finn, "Slaves of 
the Jesuits," 8). 

23 The Jesuits hired skilled and unskilled Irish labor throughout the middle part 
of the 1700s and did the same with black labor, slave or free. It was not unusual for a 
given plantation to hire another plantation's skilled slave for some specific work, or to 
hire out skilled slave labor as a source of income for the plantation (see Finn, "Slaves of 
the Jesuits," 15-20). 

24 Orlando Patterson, Slavery and Social Death (Cambridge: Harvard University 
Press, 1982), 334. 

25 Ibid., 337. 



8 * Edward F. Beckett, SJ. 

status, for they can participate in the culture and civilization of their superi- 
ors. Thus ran the logic that underlay the ideology of slavery. 

Like any ideology, that of slavery attempted to freeze history into a 
sort of "second nature." However, the meaning of any given historical 
reality is not to be found in some deterministic universal structure or system 
of logic. The multiplicity and contingency of human history resist and 
relativize any such claim to rational systematization. 26 Ideology, however, 
maintains that a given social arrangement is eternal, a totality incapable of 
change. 27 In the concrete case of slavery, the belief prospered that "there is a 
need for the division of roles, and nature provides the casting. There was by 
nature a position to be filled, and there were people who by nature occupied 
it." 28 Popular belief held that slaves were slaves because of their natural 
inferiority. 

Located at the bottom of the pyramid of power, the slave filled a 
position that was necessary if the American colonial and antebellum society 
was to function. Even though slavery apparently contradicted American 
democratic ideals, "considerations of justice and injustice were immobilised 
by the demands of what was seen as social and economic necessity." 29 In the 
arena of meaning making, where definitions of social reality shift in response 
to argumentation and negotiation, the ideology of slavery stacked the deck. 
An affective, preconscious "structure of feeling" was created in which reality 
was understood and defined. 30 While few Americans studied Aristotle's 
theory of "natural slavery," most were certain of the natural superiority of 
white over black, the free over the slave. This unexamined presumption, 
formed by the "structure of feeling" that was at the heart of the American 
slaveholding society, represents the core of the ideology of slavery. 

Slavery was thus part of the ruling ideology of American society 
until the nineteenth century. The parasitical relation was secured, legiti- 
mated, and "transformed into an institutional process in parasitic involve- 
ment with the socioeconomic and cultural components of the total social 
system." 31 Slavery was viewed as a natural part of the social landscape. The 
contingency of historical reality and a given social arrangement had been 



26 See John O'Malley, Tradition and Transition: Historical Perspectives on Vati- 
can II (Wilmington: Michael Glazier, 1981), esp. 73-77, on historical consciousness. 

27 Terry Eagleton, Ideology: An Introduction (London: Verso, 1991), 59. 

28 Bernard Williams, Shame and Necessity (Berkeley: University of California 
Press, 1993), 117f. 

29 Ibid., 125. 

30 Eagleton, Ideology, 14-18 and 48. 

31 Patterson, Slavery and Social Death, 341. 



Listening to Our History •£• 9 

transformed into an unchanging or "natural" system of social, economic, and 
cultural relations. Some of the most effective agents of this transformation 
were the Christian churches. 

Slavery formed an essential element in the social horizon of early 
Christianity. Despite the importance the early Christian community seem- 
ingly attached to differences in status, there was no denunciation of slavery 
in the New Testament. 32 While there is evidence of a patristic critique in the 
writings of Gregory of Nyssa and John Chrysostom, slavery was largely 
accepted by early Christianity. 33 Christian attitudes concerning slavery were 
drawn predominantly from Scripture, St. Augustine, or Roman law. 34 To 
compare the histories of the different Christian congregations and to deter- 
mine whether or not they made use of slaves are monumental tasks. Suffice 
it to say, for our purposes, that slavery was considered acceptable by Catho- 
lic moral doctrine until the early twentieth century. 35 Millions of Catholics 
throughout history, including innumerable popes, bishops, priests, and 
religious, were slave owners. 

However, there was also a dissonant strain in the Catholic tradition. 
Las Casas's condemnation of holding members of the indigenous peoples of 
the New World as slaves had an enormous impact on Spanish colonial 
legislation and papal thinking. 36 The ministry of Peter Claver among the 
slaves in New Granada, along with his co-worker Peter Sandoval's condem- 
nation of the mistreatment of African slaves by their masters, also had an 
impact on colonial and Church practice. 37 Such criticism often focused on 
the abuse of slaves by their masters and fell short of an outright condemna- 
tion of the practice of slaveholding. Even Las Casas, to his later regret, 



32 See Wayne Meeks, The First Urban Christians (New Haven: Yale, 1983), 23-74. 

33 See Gideon Schor, "It Is Not Necessary to Have a Slave" (B.A. thesis pre- 
sented at Harvard University, 1985), 1-18. Schor translates the pertinent Greek texts from 
both authors. 

34 See especially Paul's Letter to Philemon, 11-19. Augustine saw slavery as a 
result of sin but regarded it as legitimate, given the sinful condition of humanity. See his 
City of God, ed. David Knowles (London: Penguin, 1972), 874f. For the status of slavery 
in Roman law, see Thomas Wiedemann, Greek and Roman Slavery (Baltimore: Johns 
Hopkins, 1981); this volume provides the most accessible collection of primary documents 
in English. 

35 John Noonan, "Development in Moral Doctrine," Theological Studies 54 
(1993): 664-67. 

36 Ellis, American Catholicism, 20. 

37 Cyprian Davis, The History of Black Catholics in the United States (N.Y.: 
Crossroad, 1990), 23-25. 



10 * Edward F. Beckett, SJ. 

supported the enslavement of Africans. 38 However, the critique of master/ 
slave relations did influence Catholic attitudes towards slavery and papal 
teaching concerning the slave trade. 

A Church in Chains 

More than one hundred years after Andrew White's arrival, a 1768 
listing of the Congregation of St. Inigoes by Fr. Livers, S.J., 
includes 166 Whites and 33 "Negroes belonging to St. Inigoes 
Congregation." 39 All the latter are listed without last names, according to 
owner. 

While we have very little in the way of historical records concern- 
ing the attitude of the colonial Jesuits towards their slaves (and vice versa), 
documents like the 1768 "parish census" do provide us with a fairly solid 
picture of Jesuit slaveholding during this time. The sacramental ministry 
exercised by the Jesuits among the members of their congregants who were 
slaves was, no doubt, similar to their ministry among their own slaves. 
Recognition of slave marriages was in line with Catholic moral teaching, and 
administration of baptism was not restricted by race or legal status. 40 As 
baptized Christians, the slaves were members of the worshipping community 
of the Catholic faith. Whether that community was segregated or not is 
unclear, but it seems likely that it was. 

It is clear, however, that slaves were ministered to as members of 
the Christian community. 41 But what was the attitude of the Jesuits towards 
the slave as a fellow member of the Church? It is recorded that many Jesuits, 
like their Protestant and Catholic neighbors, regarded slaves as fellow 
Christians and members of the Body of Christ. George Hunter, the superior 
of the Maryland Mission in 1749, wrote that 

[cjharity to negroes is due from all, particularly their masters. As they are 
members of Jesus Christ, . . . they are to be dealt with in a charitable, 



38 Ibid., 21-23. 

39 "Congregation of St. Inigoes, 1768," Maryland Province Archives, 50 Z 14-17. 
Hereafter, sources located in these archives will be identified by the initials MPA. 

40 Noonan, "Development in Moral Doctrine," 665. 

41 See Randall Miller, "A Church in Cultural Captivity: Some Speculations on 
Catholic Identity in the Old South," in Catholics in the Old South, 14. In an essay included 
in the same collection, Jon Wakelyn writes of Charles Carroll, John's cousin and a signer 
of the American Declaration of Independence, and his policies regarding the religious 
instruction and practice of his slaves (see "Catholic Elites in the Slave-Holding South," 214). 



Listening to Our History *b 11 

christian, paternal manner; which is at the same time a great means to bring 
them to their duty to God and therefore to gain their souls. 42 

The Maryland Jesuits saw themselves as providing for the spiritual needs of 
their slaves and encouraged Catholic slaveholders to do likewise. The 
baptism of slave children, the recognition of slave marriage and the integrity 
of slave families, and the listing of slaves as congregants point to acceptance 
of slaves as fellow Christians. To a certain extent, the plantation formed a 
kind of domestic parish to which the slaves belonged. As plantation manager 
and slave owner, a priest looked after the health, well-being, and spiritual 
development of the slaves belonging to the farm. 43 In this sense, we might 
speak of the Maryland Jesuits' practice as thoroughly inculturated. It cer- 
tainly was in line with traditional Catholic doctrinal belief and practice 
thoughtfully adapted to the local culture. It certainly did not contradict the 
rule or any of the norms of their order. The Jesuit slaves formed part of the 
Jesuit ministry to the Catholics of the English colonies. The "help of souls" 
clearly included the souls of the slaves. 

This was not, however, the whole story. As Hunter's comments 
make clear, there was among Jesuits a definite sense of the slave's inferiority. 
This attitude was rooted in the commonplace racist thinking of the day. The 
"structure of feeling" at the core of the slave system shaped and formed the 
attitudes of the Jesuits towards their slaves and informed their ministerial 
practice as well. Jesuit paternalism towards the slaves, long hailed as charita- 
ble sentiment, also contained more than a little bigotry and, as we shall see, 
cruelty. 

While admittedly paternalistic, the Jesuits did give serious thought 
to the temporal realities of slave life. According to Finn, while infant 
mortality rates are sketchy, the large number of superannuated slaves on 
Jesuit farms, along with the general lack of epidemics, seems to indicate good 
general care (59f.). While it is unlikely that colonial Jesuits taught their 
slaves to read and write, they certainly encouraged and recognized the 
development of skills among the slaves on the Jesuit farms— something that 
benefited master as much as slave (67). Moreover, slaves were often invested 
with some measure of responsibility and freedom as well. In 1751 a Jesuit 
slave named "Ralph" traveled alone from Bohemia Manor to Philadelphia to 



42 Quoted in R. Emmett Curran, "Ministry to Slaves: USA" (unpublished 
manuscript), 2. Fr. Curran has also recorded the views of Fr. John Boone in the latter part 
of the 1760s and Fr. John Lewis, the last superior of the Maryland Mission before the 
Society's suppression, on these matters. Both Jesuits upbraided their fellow Catholics for 
regarding their slaves as "an inferior species" or denying them their status as "brothers in 
Jesus Christ" (see Curran "Splendid Poverty," 130). 

43 Finn, "Slaves of the Jesuits," 26f. 



12 * Edward F. Beckett, S.J. 

contract for work, and Jesuit slaves held land or livestock for their own use, 
and some had both (83). Apparently, to some extent the practices inherited 
from the tenant-indenture system still influenced Jesuit/slave relations on the 
farms. 

It would appear that the Jesuits treated their slaves no worse than 
did other slaveholders in the colony, and that in some particular instances 
they might have treated them somewhat better. However, despite certain 
basic rights due the slave as a human person and a Christian (food, shelter, 
medical care, the sacraments, and the integrity of the family unit), slavery on 
a Jesuit farm certainly carried with it all the evils prevalent elsewhere in the 
English colonies. As Finn writes, there was a certain moral schizophrenia at 
work in Jesuit slaveholding (65). On the one hand, they were seen as 
spiritual equals in that they were members of the Body of Christ; on the 
other hand, they were also classified as either dependent children or property 
(49). This contradictory reality would haunt relations between the Jesuits 
and their slaves and, as it were, give rise to a church in chains. 44 

Collaborators in Mission 

In the "Accounts for St. Joseph's Church in Talbot County, Maryland 
(1764-1767)," Rev. Joseph Mosley, S.J., provides a list of "the Names of 
8 Negroes that came from [White] Marsh to St. Joseph's in Talbot 
County, Maryland 1765. " 45 Listed are eight slaves, ranging in age from 
Nanny, 55, to Henry, 2. Seven were born in America, Nanny was born in 
Guinea. 

In a 1763 record book, White Marsh's slaves are listed. 46 "Nanny" is 
listed with the surname "Cooper" and described as "far advanced in age and 
mother of many children." Three of her children are listed as "not capable of 
work at Fingal." (Fingal was a holding of the farm at White Marsh.) 
Seventy-six slaves are listed in all. Thirty-seven are. children. Ten are listed as 
"past-service" because of age. One slave, Isaac, is listed as a carpenter. Two, 
Robert and another Tom, are listed as shoemakers and Nelly, a female slave, 
is listed as a cook. 

In 1771 three of the eight slaves who arrived at St. Joseph's from 
White Marsh (Lucy, age 18; the aforementioned Henry, now age 8; and 
Mary, now age 6) were subsequently sent to Bohemia, some miles to the 



44 The phrase is borrowed from Davis, History of Black Catholics, 28. 

45 MP A, 174 B. 

46 "Small Book (1763)," MPA, 102 T1-W5. 



Listening to Our History •!* 13 

north of St. Joseph's. In 1766 two other slaves arrived from "Portotobacco," 
part of the St. Thomas Manor farm in Charles County. Another, David, 
arrived a year later from White Marsh. He was "formerly Mr. Neale's Negro 
at Deer-Creek in Baltimore." Later that same year he "returned to Mr. 
Neale's in Baltimore." 47 Another slave, Jerry, arrived from White Marsh in 
1770. These data are listed here as evidence that the slave was considered 
part of a system larger than any single given plantation. He or she was 
available for service as needed on any one of the Jesuit farms. 

The White Marsh list of 1763 and Mosley's list of 1765 tell us a 
great deal about the lives of the slaves and their relations with the Jesuits. As 
we have seen, slave families were recognized on the Jesuit farms. This ran 
counter to the practice of American slavery from the colonial through the 
antebellum period. Slaves also held skilled positions on Jesuit farms. This 
meant that they were able to acquire and transmit training in one skill or 
another. Most tellingly, slaves were often moved between Jesuit farms. This 
indicates that while the slave was legally the property of a given farm, he or 
she was in fact regarded as belonging to the Jesuit mission. This evidence 
leads one to surmise that Mosley and the Jesuits on the other farms felt that 
the slaves possessed a sort of apostolic portability. Slaves were available for 
service wherever the mission needed them. 

As we might imagine, Father Mosley himself was constantly on the 
move. 48 He was the owner-manager of the farm, pastor of St. Joseph's 
Church, and a circuit priest who traveled throughout Maryland and Pennsyl- 
vania, even preaching "at Philadelphia in ye old chapel." 49 In addition to his 
institutional commitments as landholder and farm manager, Mosley was to 
go wherever the apostolic need was the greatest. So too with the slaves. 
They were, like the Jesuits, to travel to wherever the need for service was 
greatest. Yet the Jesuits also felt free to buy and sell slaves and to move 
them from plantation to plantation as seemed necessary. 50 Problems with 



47 mpa, 174 B. 

48 For an excellent presentation of Mosley's labors as recorded in his correspon- 
dence with his sister over a number of years, see Curran, American Jesuit Spirituality, 100- 
124. When the Society was suppressed, Mosley remained in Maryland tending to his farm 
and circuit duties until his death in 1787. He represents an exemplary model of Jesuit 
perseverance in ministry during the Suppression. 

49 MPA, 174 B. The chapel was undoubtedly Old St. Joseph's at Willings Alley, 
established in 1732. 

50 Finn, "Slaves of the Jesuits," 71, points out that Fr. Walton sold, exchanged, 
or transferred twenty-three slaves at Newtown in the 1770s. There is also documentation 
of the sale of slaves by former Maryland Jesuits in 1803. Perhaps the earliest record of 
Jesuit involvement in the selling of slaves is from 1727, when Peter Attwood (S.J.) 



14 * Edward F. Beckett, SJ. 

overseers were not unknown and slaves were often mistreated (see below, 
page 23). 51 As Finn records, slaves were also hired out, often to farmers who 
treated them badly, in order to produce income for the Jesuit farm (65). 
And, not surprisingly, some slaves ran away. 52 

Perhaps the one clear advantage a Jesuit slave had was his or her 
right to appeal to an authority higher than the slave-master, namely, the 
master's religious superior. Slaves could, and did, protest to Jesuits in 
positions of authority within the Society when they considered that they 
had experienced mistreatment at the hands of Jesuits. 53 Availing of this right 
not only resulted in changes being made within the system but also led to 
certain Jesuits' being removed from positions of authority on the farms after 
being accused of mistreating the slaves. 

The link between the mission and the farm, and the farm and the 
slave, formed the heart of the "Maryland tradition." The Jesuit mission was 
intimately tied to a plantation system where slavery was essential, and the 
slaves were part of the very backbone of the Jesuit mission in Maryland. Did 
Jesuits think of the slaves as co-laborers in any significant way? More 
important, did the slaves see themselves as collaborators in the Jesuit mis- 
sion? Was there any sense on the slave's part of cooperating in "the help of 
souls"? The most interesting glimpse of a possible answer to this question 
can be found in a letter from "Thomas Brown, a coloured man," who was a 
slave at St. Louis University in 1833. 54 

Mr. Brown wrote to the provincial of Maryland, William McSherry, 
that he and his wife were being "very poorly treated by Rev. Father Ver- 
heagen [sic], President of the University of St. Louis who is my present 
Master." Mr. Brown goes on to say, "I have been a faithful servant in the 
Society going on 38 years, and my wife Molly has been born and raised in 
the Society, she is now about 53 years of age." Mr. Brown goes on to 



witnessed the sale of twelve slaves from George Attwood to Thomas Attwood for three 
hundred pounds. See "Sale of 12 Negro Slaves by George Attwood to Thomas Attwood 
(1727)," MPA, 107 R0-R7. See also "Deed of Sale of Negro Slave by William Hall (1803)" 
and "Papers Pertaining to Sale of Negro Slave Woman and Her Child by Dorothy Digges 
(1803)," 99 Rl-3, for involvement of former Jesuits in selling of slaves. 

51 Finn, "Slaves of the Jesuits," 22-24. 

52 Finn, ibid., 91, tells of a slave, "Abraham," of St. Inigoes who ran away and 
was found in the woods nearby "nearly starved." 

53 Ibid., 81. 

54 See "Letter from Thomas Brown, a Slave, Lamenting Poor Living Conditions 
and Requesting to Purchase His Freedom from His Master, Fr. Verheagen [sic], President 
of St. Louis University (1833)," MPA, 112 B1-P6. 



Listening to Our History 4* 15 

request that he be allowed to purchase his own and his wife's freedom for 
$100, which he claims "is as much as I can raise and as much as our old 
bones are worth." Brown closes with the promise that "I will pray for you 
while I live." 

This letter shows a sense of the slave's consciousness of himself as a 
"servant of the Society." Might this indicate the influence of Jesuit rhetoric 
concerning mission and identity? Was there any sense on the slave's part of 
being connected to a corporate ministry? The comment that his wife had 
been "born and raised in the Society" strongly suggests the close emotional 
and affective bond some slaves had not simply for individual Jesuits but for 
the Society as a whole. We have no record of sermons preached by Maryland 
Jesuits to slaves or of actual catechetical materials used on the farms, but the 
Society's rhetoric, self-understanding, and self-definition must have strongly 
influenced the religious consciousness of many of their slaves. It is clear that 
Thomas Brown saw himself and his wife, on some level, as co-laborers in the 
Society's mission. 

Records of a "mission band" giving revivals on southern Maryland 
farms as a part of the Society's apostolic efforts in the Jubilee Year 1851 
show a group of tertians working among the congregations traditionally 
served by the Society. 55 Curran reports that at St. Thomas large numbers of 
blacks "flocked to the exercises and the sacraments" (212). At a neighboring 
mission station, the following description of a mixed congregation, presum- 
ably made up of whites, free blacks, and slaves, was recorded by one of the 
tertians: "The faithful were so filled with spiritual joy that at times they 
seemed out of their heads, especially the negroes who for eighteen years or 
even more had been away from confession because of some vague fear 
instilled in them through the severity of priests" (212). At Cornwallis-neck, a 
mission of St. Thomas, the tertians heard over two hundred confessions and 
baptized six adults, among whom were "negroes well-instructed by their 
fellow slaves" (213). Here we have a ministry typically exercised by the 
Jesuits being exercised by the slaves among themselves. 56 

Were they exercising other ministries? While Randall Miller has 
written of the absence of slave preaching in the southern Catholic tradition 
as a major factor in losing slaves to Protestantism, it is difficult to imagine 
religious instruction taking place without at least some basic form of preach- 
ing. 57 It is clear that slaves participated in the revivals which formed an 



55 Curran, American Jesuit Spirituality, 210-13. 

56 See O'Malley, Tradition and Transition, 80-85 and 116-26, on the Jesuit 
ministry of basic catechesis. 

57 "Church in Captivity," 38-40 and 48-50. 



16 * Edward F. Beckett, S.J. 

essential part of the Jesuit ministry in the South. 58 Revivals featured the 
typical Jesuit ministries of preaching, giving the Exercises, catechizing, and 
hearing confessions. 59 These ministries formed the core of Jesuit mission and 
ministry in Maryland. 

The evidence of slaves catechizing one another when priests were 
absent is intriguing. What was the content of their catechetical instruction? 
Did it resemble Jesuit instruction of the time? Was there a particularly Jesuit 
"style" to their catechesis? We simply don't know. What we do know is that 
the slave was not merely a passive recipient of Jesuit ministry. Slaves in- 
structed one another in the Catholic faith and took measures to keep the 
faith alive in times when access to clergy and regular Church services and 
ministries were restricted. There is need for much more research into the 
question of slave ministry and its identification with Jesuit ministry, but it 
seems safe to say that some such identification existed, whatever form it may 
have taken. 60 

Jesuit Mission without Jesuits: Slaves 
and the Diocesan System 

The Society of Jesus was suppressed in 1773 and the Maryland Mis- 
sion officially ceased to exist. From 1634 until that time, Catholic 
affairs were almost entirely in the hands of the Jesuits who had 
served in the American colonies as missionaries. 61 In 1773 the Maryland 
Mission consisted of around fifty apostolic foundations. 62 Mission centers and 



58 See O'Malley, The First Jesuits, 126-28, on the "mission" or revival as a basic 
form of Jesuit ministry. Curran, American Jesuit Spirituality, 193-216, provides an 
especially full portrait of Catholic revivalism's role in the Jesuit ministry in Maryland, 
especially in the career of John McElroy. Finally, Miller, "Church in Captivity," 44-48, 
points out the important role of the parish mission or revival in southern Catholicism. 

59 See "The Formula of the Institute," in the Constitutions of the Society of Jesus, 
trans, with commentary by George E. Ganss, S.J. (St. Louis: The Institute of Jesuit 
Sources, 1970), §3 (pp. 66f.). 

60 For example, we know that Jesuits founded confradias for free blacks in 
Spanish and Portuguese colonies and that there was a black Catholic society, not unlike a 
confraternity, meeting in Baltimore in the 1840s (see Davis, History of Black Catholics, 24f. 
and 86-88). 

61 Ellis, American Catholicism, 43. 

62 Gerald Fogarty, "Origins of the Mission, 1634-1773," in The Maryland Jesuits 
(Baltimore: Corporation of Roman Catholic Clergymen, the Maryland Province of the 
Society of Jesus, 1976), 25f. 



Listening to Our History •h 17 

chapels were often located on a Jesuit farm or in a Catholic gentleman's 
home. A number of apostolic "substations" also existed, usually within a 
day's journey from a mission center or somehow attached to a Jesuit farm. 
Maryland Jesuits had also begun three schools, including Thomas Poulton's 
Bohemian Academy, at which such Catholic notables as John Carroll were 
educated before being sent abroad to St. Omers in Flanders. 63 The Maryland 
Mission was regarded as a moderate success, made all the more remarkable 
by the unusual circumstances under which it existed in the English 
colonies. 64 As Gerald Fogarty puts it, "For over 150 years, a Catholic 
Church had existed but there had never been a bishop." 65 With the Suppres- 
sion, the Maryland Jesuits would cease to exist. But to a remarkable degree, 
the mission would go on. 

Since there was, as yet, no bishop in the colony, there was no 
competent ecclesiastical authority to take possession of the order's property. 
In order to protect their property, the former Jesuits set up the Select Body 
of the Clergy in 1783 and in 1792 were recognized by the state of Maryland 
as the Corporation of the Roman Catholic Clergymen. 66 The erstwhile 
Jesuits adopted a constitution that in effect allowed the work of the Mary- 
land Mission to continue. All the mission's holdings and works were now 
administered by the Corporation, whose head was John Carroll. 

Carroll, a native Marylander, was a Jesuit before the Suppression. In 
1788 the Select Body wrote to Rome requesting that a bishopric be estab- 
lished. The reply was prompt and surprising. Rome delegated the Select 
Body to choose where the episcopal see would be located and to decide 
whether the bishop was be an ordinary or a titular. Moreover, Rome 
allowed the Select Body to nominate the bishop! 67 They were to "elect as 
bishop a person eminent in piety and prudence . . . from the said clergy, and 
present him to the Apostolic See to obtain confirmation" (87). By a vote of 
24 to 2, John Carroll was elected first bishop of the United States on May 
18, 1789, and confirmed by Pope Pius VI in the bull Ex hac apostolic^ about 
five months later. He was consecrated bishop of Baltimore on August 15, 
1790, in England (88). The former Maryland Mission formed the bulk of the 



63 Ibid., 171, and Finn, "Slaves of the Jesuits," 32. 

64 The mission always had financial and manpower shortages. It was unable to 
pay the province tax of two hundred pounds sterling to the English Province in 1741 and 
1759. On the eve of the Suppression, the mission still owed the English Province 1,400 
pounds sterling (see Finn, "Slaves of the Jesuits," 94). 

65 "Origins of the Mission," 26. 

66 Curran, "Splendid Poverty," 127. 

67 Hennesy, American Catholics, 87. 



18 * Edward F. Beckett, SJ. 

first diocese in America, embracing the entire United States as then consti- 
tuted. It consisted of some 35,000 Catholics, of which Maryland had the 
greatest number; more than half of the Catholics lived in the South. 68 At the 
time of Carroll's election, Catholics had equal citizenship in only five of the 
thirteen states. 69 Clearly, the new bishop had his work cut out for him. 

Carroll severed the Corporation's dependence upon the now defunct 
English Province in 1790 and moved quickly to set up an academy at 
Georgetown. This academy, established on paper in 1789, opened its doors 
to a single student in 1791. 70 Carroll also made good use of the former Jesuit 
farms. In 1801 the funds generated by the farm at Bohemia were earmarked 
for Georgetown. (These holdings, including two slaves who traveled from 
Bohemia, had previously been used from 1793 to 1799 to help establish the 
Sulpician Seminary in Baltimore.) In 1806 income from St. Inigoes went to 
Georgetown, while the income from Bohemia returned to Carroll. 71 Five 
years later the control of St. Inigoes passed to the president of Georgetown, 
who was by then once again a Jesuit. The slaves of these farms continued to 
provide the plantation with necessary labor to support the works of the 
Diocese of Baltimore and the Catholic Church in America. 

These developments marked a clear departure from what had 
previously been the practice of the Maryland Mission. While it might be 
argued that the Maryland Jesuits were headed in the direction of estab- 
lishing educational apostolates within the mission, Carroll's use of the 
farms to fund the establishment of two large-scale educational works 
indicates a shift in apostolic priorities that would affect the Jesuits in 
years to come. The diocesan system and the evolving institutional 
structures designed to serve a growing Church began to replace the ad 
hoc ministerial outposts founded by the Jesuits. The holdings that had 
formerly funded the Jesuit mission were now supporting the mission of 
the Church in this country and providing the first diocese in the United 
States with the income necessary to carry on its work among the Catho- 
lics in postrevolutionary America. And like the Jesuit mission which 
preceded it, the Diocese of Baltimore depended for its material resources 
on the plantation system, of which slavery was an integral element. 



68 Raymond Schmandt, "An Overview of Institutional Establishments in the 
Antebellum Southern Church," in Catholics in the Old South, 55. 

69 Ellis, American Catholicism, 52. 

70 Schmandt, "Overview of Institutional Establishments," 73. 

71 Finn, "Slaves of the Jesuits," 33-37. 



Listening to Our History 4" 19 

Carroll himself came from a slave-owning family. 72 His own attitude 
towards slavery was ambivalent. On the one hand, he could defend the 
Corporation's practice of slaveholding, asserting that the priests "treat their 
Negroes with great mildness and guard them from hunger and nakedness. 
. . . They work less and are much better fed, lodged and clothed, than 
labouring men in almost any part of Europe." 73 On the other hand, he wrote 
to one of his priests that 

I am as far as you from being easy in my mind at the many things I see, 
and know, relating to the treatment and manners of the Negroes. I do the 
best I can to correct the evils I see; and then recur to those principles, 
which, I suppose, influenced the many eminent and holy missioners in S. 
America and Asia, where slavery equally exists. 74 

Apparently the bishop had read neither Las Casas nor Sandoval. 

As bishop and landowner, Carroll had to deal with the issue of 
slavery. The contradictions in the slave system disturbed him, but the system 
itself made possible much of the Church's work. Slavery was seen as an 
economic and social necessity. The result was that questions of justice or 
injustice were restricted to the master/slave relationship. There was no 
public criticism of the institution of slavery itself. 

The farms were, from the very beginning, both a vehicle and an 
arena for Jesuit ministry. The farms provided the necessary material support 
for the ministry of the planter-priest. Yet the farm was also a sort of domes- 
tic parish, in which the spiritual welfare of the slaves was clearly a part of 
the Jesuit's ministry. The planter-priest was just that— a hyphenated reality. 
The Jesuit's duties in the pre-Suppression period were defined by his status 
as landowner, colonist, slaveholder, pastor, and missionary. However, in the 
years after the Society's restoration in the nineteenth century, the farms 
became more and more simply an instrumental aid in Jesuit ministry. The 
eventual arena of Jesuit ministry, under the influence of decisions made by 
Carroll during the Suppression, shifted towards education. Jesuit ministry 
would become more and more concentrated on urban centers and the 
education of the Catholics living in those centers. 



72 Davis, History of Black Catholics, 40. 

73 Quoted in Hennesy, American Catholics, 43. 

74 Quoted in Davis, History of Black Catholics, 41. 



20 * Edward F. Beckett, SJ. 

Jesuit Ministry and Racism: The Example of Mobberly 

In 1805 the Society of Jesus was reestablished in the United States. 
Catherine the Great of Russia had never promulgated the papal decree 
of 1773 that dissolved the Society. In 1801 Pope Pius VII recognized the 
Russian Province and allowed it to accept members from outside Russia's 
borders. A number of former Jesuits in America petitioned the Pope for 
permission to affiliate themselves with the Russian Province. In 1804 permis- 
sion came and in the following year five of the ten former Maryland Jesuits 
still living renewed their vows. In 1806 novices were accepted at George- 
town College. The Society was universally restored in 1814. 75 

Many of the older and most influential American Jesuits of the time 
came from planter families and were well acquainted with the plantation 
system and with slavery. The Carrolls, Fenwicks, Neales, and Sewells had all 
been, and continued to be, slaveholders. 76 Foreign-born Jesuits sent to 
Maryland seemed to think of slavery in feudal terms. 77 Most Maryland 
Jesuits simply thought of slavery as a part of the social landscape. As we 
have seen, their attitude towards blacks, particularly slaves, was admittedly 
paternalistic. It was also, unwittingly or not, racist. Archbishop Neale, 
former Jesuit and successor to John Carroll in Baltimore, wrote to a Jesuit in 
Norfolk, Virginia, "I applaud your zeal in instructing the poor Negroes; 
consider it as a grand point of your duty. Diamonds are sometimes found in 
dunghills." 7 * Indeed, this blend of paternalism and, at times, thinly veiled 
racism, is exemplified in the most complete document we possess concerning 
Jesuit slaveholding during that time, the so-called "Diary" of Bro. Joseph 
Mobberly, S.J. 79 

The "Diary" is actually three documents. It consists of an account of 
Mobberly's years in the Maryland Mission, a treatise in defense of slavehold- 



75 Curran, "Splendid Poverty," 127. 

76 For example, "Letter to Nicholas from Charles Sewall (1783)," "Deed of Sale 
to Nicholas Sewall for 5 Negro Slaves (1790)," and "Letters of Administration on the 
Estate of N. L. Sewall Granted to Charles Sewall (1802)," MP A, 110 W1-W12. See also 
"Valuation of Rev. Ashton's Negroes (1816)," MPA, 107 R0-R7. Fr. Ashton had eleven 
slaves, age 8 to 40, total value approximately $3,675. 

77 Curran, "Splendid Poverty," 131. 

78 "Letter from Abp. L. Neale to Fr. Lucas in Norfolk, Va. (1816)," MPA, 205 
Z13-27 (emphasis in the original). 

79 "The Joseph P. Mobberly Papers," Georgetown University Archives. Hence- 
forth documents located in these archives will be identified by the initials GUA. The 
"Mobberly Papers" will be abbreviated "MP." 



Listening to Our History •!• 21 

ing, and a loosely kept diary dating from October 1824 to September 1827. 
Mobberly was a Maryland native who had served as manager of St. Inigoes 
from 1806 to 1820. He was removed as manager after the slaves of St. 
Inigoes lodged complaints against him. 80 The account of Mobberly's tenure 
at St. Inigoes is his side of the story, recorded for posterity. 

The second document is an apology for slaveholding entitled 
"Slavery or Cham?" In this document Bro. Mobberly asks, "Can a man serve 
God faithfully and possess slaves?" As might be imagined, his answer is yes. 81 
Mobberly begins by associating abolitionism with heresy and goes to great 
lengths to show how slavery is approved by the Old and New Testaments, 
even providing a list of Christian slaveholding saints. Finally, he claims 
slavery's universality in human history as proof that it is legitimate and in 
accord with divine law (2-33). At this point Mobberly claims that at least 
forty percent of humanity is "deficient in point of intellect and know not 
how to manage for and take care of themselves." Thus, "slavery is not only 
lawful, reasonable and good, but necessary" (33, 36) Those not capable of 
governing themselves are in need of government by those better equipped by 
nature to govern. Mobberly, of course, then goes on to "prove" that Afri- 
cans are incapable of self-rule. 

Much of Mobberly's thinking depends on his belief in a racial 
theory proving that Africans are the "children of Ham" punished by God. 
Marshaling copious quotations from Scripture, Thomas Jefferson, and a 
contemporary science text, Bro. Mobberly links the African's "skin color, 
hair texture, lusts of the flesh, stupidity, crimes of intoxication, lying, sleepy 
disposition, fondness of ridicule and love of magic" to his status as a descen- 
dant of Ham (37-67). Therefore Africans and their descendants "are doomed 
to be the Servants unto their brethren" (52). Whether Bro. Mobberly's 
writings are motivated by anger and resentment at his dismissal as manager 
or his own honest convictions, they serve as a unique witness to a certain 
intellectual climate prevalent among even the moderately educated religious 
persons of the time. While the tract was never published, its crude nine- 
teenth-century racial theories stand as a reminder of just how commonplace 
it was to employ religious argumentation in order to create the ideology of 
slavery. 

Mobberly also noted many of the practical realities of life on the 
farm. In doing so, he provides us with important documentation regarding 
the lives of the slaves. Mobberly records that Jesuits allowed their slaves to 
farm their own garden, raise their own livestock and fish, and to sell their 



80 Curran, "Splendid Poverty," 133. 

81 "MP, Pt. 2," GUA, 1. 



22 * Edward F. Beckett, S.J. 

produce and goods as they saw fit. 82 He also claims that slaves too old to 
work received the same ration of food, clothing, and care as a laborer (13 If.). 
Yet he holds that the current system is unsuccessful because "the slaves are 
very discontented in their present state of servitude, and are becoming more 
corrupt and more worthless every year" (140). Clearly a bitter and bigoted 
man, he asserts that "the better a negro is treated, the worse he becomes" 
(141). However, Mobberly also provides us one Jesuit's view of the slave 
owner's responsibility toward the slave. 

Mobberly held that slave owners must provide their slaves with 
comfortable housing and beds, including enough space for the sexes to be 
segregated, provide them with sufficient food and clothing, and permit them 
to marry. The owner must also provide for religious instruction and the 
reception of the sacraments, as well as compel his slaves to perform their 
Christian duties while restraining them from evil conduct. He claims to 
eschew cruel methods of correction and asserts that slaves should not be 
neglected in their old age or during sickness. Finally, Mobberly sees the 
separation of man and wife through the selling of slaves as a culpable act 
that could cost the slave owner his soul (142f.). Mobberly's list provides us 
with a minimal standard of justice that Catholic slave owners acknowledged 
as mandatory and presumably would wish to implement as an example to 
their coreligionists. 

On the whole, Mobberly is dissatisfied with the slave system. Lest 
we rush to judgment regarding his motives, it is worthwhile to note that he 
had registered this dissatisfaction as early as 1815. 83 Mobberly considered the 
plantation system inefficient and too expensive. He greatly admired the 
Quakers of Pennsylvania who "will not have slaves and in this they are very 
wise." 84 However, Mobberly's approach reflected no humane opposition to 
slavery; he regarded the system as financially doomed, the slaves and over- 
seers as incorrigible, and a slave uprising as a distinct possibility. Fear and 
frustration marked his relationship with the slaves. Mobberly wrote as 
follows: 

I sincerely regret that slaves were ever introduced into the United States; 
but as we have them we know not how to get rid of them. It seems they 
become more corrupt every year and more discontented in their state of 
subjection. They are a great tax and a constant aggravation. (8 Of.) 



82 "MP, Pt. 1," GUA, 133. 

83 "Letter from Joseph Mobberly, S.J., to John Grassi, S.J. (1815)," MP A, 204 Kl-7. 

84 "MP, Pt. 1,"GUA, 79. 



Listening to Our History 4* 23 

Here is Mobberly's credo: The slaves are a danger and too much trouble. 
The obvious path to less danger and trouble is to get rid of the slaves. 

Mobberly saw slavery as a double bind. On the one hand, slavery 
was unjustified economically. Slaves were like an inefficient crop. If the 
mission was to prosper, a change had to come. At times he seems to assume 
that if one could just get rid of corn, tobacco, and the slaves, the farms 
would be fine (82). Mobberly's uncritical acceptance of slavery, however 
uneasy at times, matches our earlier observations concerning Bishop Carroll 
and a good number of the Maryland Jesuits seem to have shared this view. 
Almost two hundred years after their arrival, there was no sense among the 
Jesuits that slavery was an evil in itself which needed to be addressed. In this 
they were complacent children of their own Catholic, and now American, 
culture. 

Cruelty and Consequences: Jesuits 
and the Maltreatment of Slaves 

As we have noted, the earlier record of Mobberly's years at St. 
Inigoes provides an important portrait of everyday life on the 
Jesuit farms after the reestablishment of the Society in the United 
States in 1805. In one of his entries, Mobberly records that the slave cook on 
the farm, "Granny Sucky," claimed to be ninety-six years old in 1806. She 
said she had known twenty-three Jesuit Masters "and she never had a bad 
one" (21). The old slave woman goes on to say that she had been whipped 
by a Jesuit only once, for watching the priest-master "take the discipline" 
and crying out that he "not be so cruel to himself." Sucky related that "he 
gave her so sound a thrashing that she was determined never to care much 
about his self-cruelties in the future." All of this occurred when Sucky was 
"then but a girl" (21f.). 

It is certainly no surprise that slaves were subjected to physical 
punishment. Peter Brown described ancient slavery as a "domestic school of 
cruelty" that "generated a distinctive pathology of power." 85 Not much, if 
anything, had changed in the antebellum United States. Still, the chilling 
image of a Jesuit beating a slave girl leads one to ask whether the practice 
was common. Mobberly himself wrote that whipping slaves resulted in one's 
acquiring a reputation among the slaves as "a very bad man," which led to 



85 Peter Brown, Power and Persuasion in Late Antiquity: Towards a Christian 
Empire (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1992), 51. 



24 •*• Edward F. Beckett, SJ. 

their plotting "sabotage" or murder against the offender. 86 How widespread 
was the practice? 

The General of the Society, Fr. Tadeusz Brzozowski, sent a special 
visitor, Peter Kenney, to Maryland in 1819. In the years following the 
Restoration, the farms were in financial disarray and their management a 
constant source of complaint. At the time of his visit, five of the six planta- 
tions in Maryland were under the control of lay brothers. One of the chief 
complaints leveled against them was their mistreatment of the slaves in their 
charge. Indeed, it was this charge that cost Mobberly his position and saw 
the other brothers either removed or demoted to assistant managers under 
the direct supervision of a priest. 87 

Among the directives Kenney gave during his visitation was an 
order that forbade Jesuits to engage in "any species of corporal chastisement 
on a female slave, as even to threaten by word or act. . . . Neither are the 
priests to inflict corporal chastisement on the male servants, but this, when 
necessary, may be allowed to lay brothers who have authority over them." 88 
Nevertheless, Kenney approved the practice of delegating such corporal 
punishment to overseers, including the whipping of female slaves, although 
he decreed that "this chastisement should not be inflicted on any female in 
the house, where the priest lives. . . . Sometimes they [the slave women] 
have been tied up in the priest's own parlour, which is very indecorous." He 
also decreed that "pregnant females should not be whipped" (64). The facts 
are clear. Jesuits used the lash on their slaves, either delegating the task to an 
overseer or leaving it to the lay-brother manager. 

The use of corporal punishment cuts to the core of the slave system. 
It was a system rooted in the use of force and violence. As Cyprian Davis 
has noted, "The fact that one individual had ownership of the person and 
labor of another provided the framework for inevitable acts of oppression 
and brutality." 89 The threat of the whip and the humiliation of the auction 
block were key elements of social control in the slave system. If a slave did 
not keep his or her master happy, that slave would be punished. The 
Maryland Jesuits expressed no opposition in principle to slavery or corporal 
punishment. 



86 "MP, Pt. 1," GUA, 77. One wonders if we have here the kernel of Mobberly's 
own story. 

87 Curran, "Splendid Poverty," 129f. 

88 Quoted in Finn, "Slaves of the Jesuits," 63. 
^History of Black Catholics, 20. 



Listening to Our History ~b 25 

A Glimpse of Freedom? 

After the Suppression, the growing financial difficulties of the farms 
and the Corporation prompted the sale of several slaves. St. Thom- 
as Manor sold a slave for $240 in 1798 to raise money to build a 
Church. 90 Ambrose Marechal, a Sulpician who would become the third 
bishop of Baltimore, leased St. Inigoes in 1795 for nine shillings an acre 
while providing for the care of the slaves on the property. 91 Marechal also 
hired out his "servant James, Blacksmith by trade, . . . for $100 to John 
Morton, besides his lodgings, washing, victuals and cloathing [sic]," thus 
illustrating the continued policy of hiring out slaves for income. 92 The 
Corporation's policies regarding slavery seemed, in practice, to differ in no 
way from the previous policies of the Jesuits. The only important diver- 
gence, and the one that touched on the most fundamental of matters, 
concerned the slave's right to purchase his or her own freedom. 

During the latter part of the 1790s, the Corporation adopted 
guidelines concerning manumission. 93 These guidelines included the decision 
that there would be no outright manumission of the slaves because of the 
"injurious precedent" it might set. A variety of motives worked against 
outright manumission, according to Finn. The first was paternal. Freed 
slaves were often, because of debt, in terrible shape financially (87f.). Some 
even sold themselves back into servitude. The second was more self-serving. 
American Catholics, particularly American Catholic clergy, were also very 
conscious of their status as an alien minority within American culture. 94 
They feared attracting negative attention to themselves and sought whenever 
possible not to offend the cultural consensus. Finally, they shared with non- 
Catholic slaveholders the widespread belief that newly emancipated slaves in 
large numbers might incite those still enslaved to rise up in violence. Slave 
rebellions were not unknown in the United States, and the uprising which 
led to Haiti's independence raged throughout the 1790s. Two of the three 



90 Finn, "Slaves of the Jesuits," 96. 

91 "Lease between Ambrose Marechal, S.S., and James O. Donald (1795)," and 
"Lease of Negro Slave by Ambrose Marechal to James O. Donald (1796)," MPA, 103 Nl- 
P6.5. 

92 "Certificate of Contract for Hire of Negro Slave by A. Marechal to John 
Morton (1798)," MPA, 103 N1-P6.5. 

93 Finn, "Slaves of the Jesuits," 89. 

94 R. Emmett Curran, "Catholic Church," in Dictionary of Afro-American 
Slavery, ed. Randall Miller and John David Smith (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1988), 95. 



26 ■*■ Edward F. Beckett, S.J. 

largest slave rebellions in the United States occurred across the border from 
Maryland in Virginia in 1800 and 1831. 95 

There is, of course, another angle to be considered. Despite their 
minority status and occasional harassment, the Maryland Jesuits seemed 
completely at home in the American slaveholding economy of their day. As 
mentioned earlier, the Jesuits were in most matters typical landowners. The 
Corporation's guidelines concerning manumission were concerned chiefly 
with economic matters, not questions of morality. There was no mention of 
challenging the practice of slaveholding as intrinsically evil. American 
practice and Catholic doctrine made the ideology of slavery seemingly 
unassailable, part of the very nature of things. Here we have a concrete 
example of what we earlier termed the "vice" of inculturation. 

The Corporation decreed that slaves would be allowed to purchase 
their freedom. This assumes, of course, that a given slave would be able to 
amass enough capital to do so. As we have seen, slaves on the Jesuit farms 
were allowed to own property. Presumably they could make use of this 
property as they saw fit. This would include selling it as a source of income. 
There is also evidence of slaves being paid for certain kinds of work. 96 If a 
slave could accumulate enough wealth, he could purchase freedom. Finn 
writes that members of the Corporation could sell slaves only with the 
proviso that they would be set free after a certain number of years (89). This 
policy of "deferred emancipation" marked an important policy shift for the 
farms and for the Corporation's practice of slaveholding. 97 It clearly indi- 
cated a desire on the part of the Corporation, made up exclusively of former 
Jesuits, all of whom were United States citizens, to break away from the 
slaveholding system as it existed in the early nineteenth century. Did the 
policy succeed? And did it in any way influence a change in Catholic 
attitudes towards slavery? 

In 1796 Marechal allowed Patrick Barnes to purchase his freedom 
for two hundred pounds while promising to "move 10 miles away from the 
Romish chapel." 98 We also have record of a slave, "Jack," buying his freedom 
at Conewago in 1801" and the unusual case in 1803 of a freed woman 



95 Eric Foner, ed., America's Black Past (New York: Harper & Row, 1970), 113-15. 

96 Finn, "Slaves of the Jesuits," 84. 

97 Curran, American Jesuit Spirituality, 134. 

98 "Bond between Ambrose Marechal and His Negro Slave Patrick Barnes for 
Purchase of Freedom," MPA, 103 N1-P6.5. 

99 The Corporation censured Peter Brosius for manumitting a slave at Conewago 
in 1801 and recommended that he have the slave purchase his freedom ex post facto 
(Curran, "Splendid Poverty," 134). Presumably that slave was "Jack." 



Listening to Our History *V 27 

buying her daughter from St. Thomas Manor and then freeing her. 100 The 
Corporation's policies concerning deferred manumission might also have 
served as an example for other Catholic slaveholders (or vice versa) (45-74). 
In 1797 Charles Carroll, John's cousin and a signatory of the American 
Declaration of Independence, introduced into the Maryland state senate a bill 
calling for gradual abolition, but the bill met with no success. 101 He adopted 
a policy of gradual manumission on his own estates and freed as many as 
thirty of his slaves at a time. 102 

The Corporation's measured willingness to allow slaves to buy their 
own freedom is clear. But it is also clear that the former slave owner feared 
the effect of such a policy on his other slaves. Hence the agreement of 
Patrick Barnes to move away from the site of his former bondage. Nothing 
so undermined the ideology and practice of slavery as the presence of a freed 
slave. 

In adopting these procedures the Corporation seems to have desired 
a return to the early policy of indentured servitude that had been the norm 
on seventeenth-century Jesuit farms. However, it does not appear that this 
policy was undertaken because of any new sense of the slave's equal human- 
ity or the basic injustice of the slaveholding system. Instead, it seems tied 
both to financial considerations— the farms were not prospering — and to 
sensitivity to public opinion. European criticism of the Corporation's 
practice of slaveholding was mounting, and Carroll's own ambivalence 
towards the institution was shared by many of the Corporation's 
members. 103 

In a well-known letter of 1805, Carroll wrote to Francis Neale 
denouncing the sale of White Marsh's slaves. 

Mr. Fenwick [another former Jesuit and a member of the Select Body] and I 
were surprised and mortified to learn that in direct contradiction to the 
humane decision of the Corporation, sales of Negroes for life have been 
made and are making from the estate of the Whitemarsh. I doubt very 
much whether such sales are valid and think that the persons sold may 
recover, by law, their absolute freedom leaving on the Congregation an 
obligation to refund the purchase money. 104 



100 Finn, "Slaves of the Jesuits," 90. 

101 Hennesy, American Catholics, 146. 

102 Carroll freed thirty slaves in 1817 (see Ellis, American Catholicism, 90). 

103 Hennesy, American Catholicism, 43. 

104 "Letter from Abp. Carroll to F. Neale Denouncing Sales of Slaves in White 
Marsh (1805)," MPA, 203 T6-11. It should be noted that Baltimore did not become an 
archdiocese until 1808. 



28 * Edward F. Beckett, SJ. 

Some have argued that Carroll was behind the Corporation's policy shift as 
a way of countering criticism of slaveholding after the abolition of the slave 
trade in the British Empire. 105 Deferred emancipation became the official 
policy of the Corporation in a resolution adopted in 1814. 106 There is even a 
record of the Corporation selling "[a] Negro Boy named Regis, aged 19 
years, for 12 years— then he is free" in 1816. 107 But the policy of deferred 
emancipation was never to become common practice within the Corporation 
or the restored Society of Jesus. Slaves were sold to meet financial needs 
throughout the nineteenth century. 

It is clear from Mobberly's writings and Carroll's concerns that the 
Jesuits of Maryland knew of other Christian groups who abandoned slave- 
holding on moral grounds. There was also the example of Benedict the 
Moor, born a slave of slave parents, who was canonized by Pius VII in 
ig07.io8 While they may have been disregarded or condemned, notions 
repudiating the morality of slavery were available to the Jesuits of Maryland 
and the members of the Corporation, both from their own Catholic tradi- 
tion and from the American experience. Slavery was under assault from both 
a practical and a moral point of view. In the 1820s and 1830s, the Maryland 
Jesuits would definitively answer the question of what to do about the slaves 
in a way Carroll never anticipated. 

Foreign and Native Missioners 

After 1816 membership in the Select Body of the Corporation was 
limited to Jesuits who were United States citizens. 109 This meant 
that while the mission's lands were again in Jesuit hands, they were 
not necessarily under the control of the Jesuit superior, who had no direct 
authority over the Corporation's temporal holdings. This separation between 
spiritual and temporal administration eventually proved unwieldy. It also 
fanned the flames of the tension between foreign-born and native Jesuits that 
marked the Maryland Mission's post-Restoration history. 110 



105 Hennesy, American Catholicism, 143. 

106 Curran, "Splendid Poverty," 134. 

107 "Papers Pertaining to Sale and Manumission of Negro Slave Boy (1816)," 
MPA, 99 Rl-3. 

108 Davis, History of Black Catholics, 19. 

109 Curran, "Splendid Poverty," 127. 

110 See Curran, American Jesuit Spirituality, 2 If., on post-Restoration, anti- 
Maryland feeling in Rome. 



Listening to Our History •b 29 

The continued immigration of Catholics from the continent and the 
end of large-scale English immigration influenced the composition and 
mission of the Society of Jesus. In the years immediately after the Suppres- 
sion and prior to the establishment of the Maryland Province, the majority 
of Jesuits in the United States were foreigners. In the catalogue of the 
Maryland Mission of 1819, sixteen Irishmen, eight Belgians, four Germans, 
three Frenchmen, one Russian, one Italian, and, remarkably, one English 
Jesuit are listed as serving alongside nineteen American Jesuits. 111 

Mission superiors tended to be foreign-born. As Curran noted, they 
had no legal authority over the restored mission's property. A clear distinc- 
tion had developed between spiritual and temporal jurisdiction. The former 
lay in the hands of the mission superior, the latter in the hands of the 
trustees of the Corporation. 112 The shift from the colonial mission to the 
postrevolution, restored Society could not have been more obvious. The 
mission was no longer the superior's to command. The provisional arrange- 
ment made by Carroll and the other former Jesuits to continue the mission's 
work now struck at the very heart of the mission's ability to function. 

American Jesuits often regarded their continental counterparts as 
antidemocratic. European Jesuits thought the Americans were "too indepen- 
dent, too materialistic, and too little observant of the rules of religious 
life." 113 Concerning Jesuit landholding in Maryland, two tensions were at 
work: one nativist, the other generational. American-born Jesuits were often 
at odds with their foreign-born brethren over questions touching on national 
identity and the Society's way of proceeding. Simply put, the separation of 
temporal and spiritual authority was a sticking point for European Jesuits, 
particularly superiors. There was also a conflict between the generations. To 
an older generation, the mission and the lands were synonymous. To a new 
generation, made up of foreign- and American-born Jesuits who had no 
memory of the colonial tradition and were products of Carroll's diocesan 
system, the lands were simply an apostolic asset or hindrance and should be 
treated as such. How did this tension play itself out in Jesuit attitudes 
towards slaveholding and Jesuit ministry among the slaves? 

While the conditions of the slaves improved after Kenney's 1819 
visitation, it was clear that the plantation system's days were numbered. 114 
Kenney instituted reforms that led to a significant improvement in the 



111 Curran, "Splendid Poverty," 127 n. 9. 

112 Ibid., 128, esp. n. 10. 

113 Ibid., 128. See also Curran's essay "From Mission to Province: 1805-1833," in 
The Maryland Jesuits (1976), 47-68, esp. 48-51 on Jesuit nativism. 

114 Curran, "Splendid Poverty," 131. 



30 * Edward F. Beckett, SJ. 

management and productivity of the farms, but he was supportive of the 
Corporation's already manifested desire to dispose of the slaves. The debts 
incurred by the farms continued to mount and many of the older Jesuits 
blamed the foreigners for mismanaging them. 115 In the midst of all this 
internal debate, the archbishop of Baltimore, Ambrose Marechal, initiated 
claims against the Jesuit estates on the grounds that they were established for 
the support of the Church in the United States, not just the support of the 
Jesuit order. 116 

Marechal's case blocked the Corporation's policy of gradual manu- 
mission of the slaves and prevented their sale as well. In 1823 Pope Pius VII 
ordered the Maryland Jesuits to surrender White Marsh, its slaves, and other 
holdings to the archbishop. The Maryland Jesuits refused and appealed to 
the United States State Department, whose chief clerk was a relative of the 
Neale family. In turn, this official warned the archbishop that the federal 
government viewed any appeal to a foreign power in such a matter as an 
interference with the basic rights of American citizens. 117 Rome, the archdio- 
cese of Baltimore, and the United States government were now at odds over 
the question of temporalities and ecclesial jurisdiction at exactly the same 
time as the lay-trustee controversy was raging throughout the Catholic 
community of America. 118 Some 190 years after the original mission, the 
unique understanding of the distinction between temporal and spiritual 
jurisdiction that had earlier served the Maryland Jesuits so well was now 
being put to the test. 

In the summer of 1823, the Superior General of the Jesuits, Luigi 
Fortis, dispatched another visitor, Francis Dzierozynski, to Maryland to 
settle matters once and for all concerning the relationship between the 
Society and the Corporation. Fortis 's view was that the Maryland Jesuits 
loved property too much and obedience not enough. His advice to Dziero- 
zynski was "Let them renounce the property." 119 European attitudes towards 
the American Society's way of proceeding and the determination of the 
Maryland Jesuits to safeguard the success of their own mission were on a 
collision course. Charles Neale, the superior who defied Archbishop, Gen- 



115 Finn, "Slaves of the Jesuits," 112. One Jesuit's brother, Richard McSherry, 
wrote to his brother William in 1828 that it is "very bad policy to place foreigners as 
superiors who know nothing of this country or its institutions." 

116 Curran, "Splendid Poverty," 135. 

117 Ibid., 135, esp. n. 49. 

118 Ellis, American Catholicism, 53-55. 

119 Quoted in Curran, "Splendid Poverty," 135. 



Listening to Our History *b 31 

eral, and Pope, died just before Dzierozynski's arrival. 120 After Dzierozyn- 
ski's visit, as Curran relates, the Corporation's trustees renounced their right 
to administer property without the consent of the general (136). However, 
the question of the viability of the farms had been raised publicly, and the 
conflict with Marechal only led to further questioning of whether the farms 
were a help or a hindrance to the Society's work in nineteenth-century 
America. The end of the Maryland Mission's dependence upon its farms 
would not be long in coming. 

Money and Schools 

The Church in America during the mid- 1820s was entering a period 
of rapid change. In 1808 the Diocese of Baltimore became an archdi- 
ocese and four new American dioceses were created, including three 
in the major cities of the North: Boston, New York and Philadelphia. 121 The 
system of lay trustees, approved by the first American bishop, John Carroll, 
in the years just after the revolution was now coming under fire from priests 
and bishops across the nation. 122 Anti-Catholic bias was surfacing, not simply 
as an attitude on the part of a particular colonial government, but as a 
national characteristic. 123 

The need for an educated Catholic population also asserted itself, 
particularly in the face of ever expanding Catholic immigration. As Monsi- 
gnor Ellis noted, "It was estimated in the decade of the 1820's that 54,000 
Catholics had entered the United States from abroad, a figure which rose 
steadily when the 1840's alone accounted for 700,000 more." 124 Clearly the 
Church was on the cusp of a historic moment. Over the next twenty-five 
years, the Church would become more urban, more centralized under the 
authority of bishop and priest, and more aggressive in defending its rights 
against an insurgent nativism. It would also sponsor an enormous publishing, 
educational, and social-service network designed to meet the pressing needs 
of an exponentially growing Catholic population pouring in from Europe in 
hopes of bread, work, and freedom. 

By the time of the Suppression, the Society of Jesus was operating 
over eight hundred schools worldwide. As John O'Malley has pointed out, 



120 Ibid., 136 fn. 51. 

121 Ellis, American Catholicism, 55, and Hennesy, American Catholics, 90f. 

122 Miller, "Church in Captivity," 20-26. 

123 Ellis, American Catholicism, 66f., and Miller, "Church in Captivity," 18f. 
X1A American Catholicism, 67{. 



32 * Edward F. Beckett, S.J. 

the Jesuits were "the first religious order in the Catholic Church to under- 
take formal education as a major ministry." 125 This decision profoundly 
shaped the culture of Catholicism and the Jesuit ministerial imagination. 126 
The post-Restoration Society immediately reimmersed itself in the work of 
education on a large scale and adapted its Ratio studiorum to changed 
circumstances in Europe and throughout the world. 127 In the United States 
the Society's work in the schools became the key to nineteenth-century 
Jesuit expansion. 

As we have seen, many of the Jesuits who came of age in the 1820s 
had little or no loyalty to the "Maryland tradition." 128 Economic realities 
convinced men such as Thomas Mulledy, William McSherry, and John 
McElroy that the Society's dependence upon the plantation system was 
hampering its apostolic effectiveness. In 1830 Kenney returned as visitor. A 
new general, Fr. Jan Roothan, instructed him to investigate whether or not 
the mission should sell the farms, Curran recounts (136). While most of the 
farms had significantly improved, it seemed obvious that they were unable to 
provide for the mission's institutional apostolic commitments. 129 

In 1832, at a meeting with the consultors of the Maryland Mission 
and the College of Georgetown, Peter Kenney made the following sugges- 
tions, which were then submitted to Fr. Roothan for his consideration: first, 
that the Maryland and Missouri Missions be reunited as a province within 
the Society of Jesus; further, that Georgetown College be given a dispensa- 
tion from the Society's ban on operating its schools as tuition-paying 
institutions; finally, 



125 John O'Malley, The First Jesuits (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993), 15. 

126 See ibid., 200-42, on the impact of the schools on Jesuit ministry. 

127 William Bangert, S.J., A History of the Society of Jesus (St. Louis: Institute of 
Jesuit Sources, 1972), 436-38, 497. 

128 Curran, "Splendid Poverty," 137. 

129 In 1822-23 the White Marsh novitiate (established in 1814) was near collapse. 
In 1823 the novice master, Fr. Charles Van Quickenborne, accompanied by seven Belgian 
novices, another priest, and three brothers, left for St. Louis and the proposed mission to 
the Native Americans. There would be no novitiate in Maryland until 1827, when it was 
reestablished at Georgetown. One of those novices who left with Van Quickenborne was, 
of course, Peter de Smet (see Curran, "From Mission to Province," 62, and Finn, "Slaves 
of the Jesuits," 107). There are several versions of what happened to bring about this 
decision and how it took place. De Smet's record of the novices' reactions is vivid: "We 
left home and country for the Indians. The Indians are in the West. To the West let us 
go" (see Gilbert J. Garraghan, The Jesuits of the Middle United States, 3 vols. [Chicago: 
Loyola University Press, 1938] 1:74). The early chapters of this volume give in great detail 
the story of the foundation of the Missouri Mission and its relation to Maryland. 



Listening to Our History *k 33 



[t]hat the state of public feeling on the subject of slavery and other disad- 
vantages attending the system be accurately and in detail more known to 
the General with a view of obtaining his sanction for the adoption of some 
arrangement that will gradually liberate this mission from such servants and 
substitute free labourers in their place. 130 

The first two of Kenney's proposals were supported without reservation. 
The last proved to be more controversial. The majority of the consultors 
were in favor, but the measure was "decisively objected to by one consultor 
and another consented to it with an emphatic observation that great caution 
and circumspection should be used in the details and execution of any 
system that should be adopted." 131 A year later at Georgetown College, 
Kenney announced the establishment of the Maryland Province and the 
appointment of William McSherry as its first provincial. Georgetown, now 
enrolling 183 students, was also granted a dispensation from the Society's 
Constitutions and permitted to charge tuition. 132 These developments marked 
the end of the planter-priest in Maryland. The mission of the Society of 
Jesus in Maryland had assumed a new form. 

The schools had now laid claim to the ministerial imagination of 
the Maryland Jesuits. A secondary school had been established in Washing- 
ton, D.C., in 1821, and colleges and secondary schools would be established 
in Philadelphia and Baltimore less than twenty years after Kenney's extraor- 
dinary consultation. The Jesuit mission in Maryland had turned its face from 
the farms towards the cities and the work of education. By 1842 one-half of 
all Maryland Jesuits, including all fourteen scholastics, would be employed at 
schools. 133 A letter from Richard McSherry, a layman, to his brother William 
written around the time of the extraordinary consultation remarkably 
reflects the opinion of quite a few of the Jesuits and their supporters at that 
time. "I do not think it becoming that clergymen who ought to be engaged 
in teaching or mission should be farmers[;] if their property was all rented 
out it would produce 20x the income and the fathers could be better em- 
ployed." 134 The paradigm shift in Jesuit thinking about mission and ministry 
could not have been stated more clearly. The farms were no longer an arena 



130 "Record of Extraordinary Consultation with Consultors of Maryland Mission 
and of College of Georgetown (1832)," MP A, XM 1-3. 

131 Ibid, and Curran, "Splendid Poverty," 137. Grivel, Mulledy, and McSherry 
strongly supported the recommendation. Dzierozynski opposed it, and Dubuisson gave it 
his cautious support. 

132 Curran, "From Mission to Province," 65. 

133 Curran, American Jesuit Spirituality, 27. 

134 Quoted in Finn, "Slaves of the Jesuits," 112. 



34 -h Edward F. Beckett, SJ. 

for ministry, they were a burden. Jesuits could be better employed, presum- 
ably in a classroom, chapel, or administrative post at a school or parish. But 
what of the slaves? 

A major part of the dissatisfaction with the farms was rooted in the 
feeling that the slaves were corrupt and that dealing with them in the 
current hopeless circumstances either wasted apostolic energy or served to 
contaminate the Jesuits themselves. One Jesuit wrote thus of the slaves under 
his charge: "None are charged with theft. One man and the old woman go 
to the sacraments— one is said to be a worthless fellow— the other notori- 
ously [illegible] in habits of illicit intercourse, now wishes to be married." 135 
In the same report, the slave's houses were described as "very few and very 
bad. There is not one that can afford comfortable shelter to man or beast." 
The report later lists the value of the working slaves as around $1,000, "the 
boy, the old woman, the livestock, farm utensils, and house furniture may 
be worth 335 Dollars." A letter to Peter Kenney, presumably written by the 
same Jesuit, states the case even more baldly. 

Overseers unworthy of the name have been employed and the two lay 
brothers who have resided here were not able or fit. . . . The priest receives 
nothing from his Congregation and must depend on farming. . . . with 
regard to the servants I have little to say favourably. Very few regard the 
frequentation of the sacraments, and most of them I fear are immoral. . . . 
Admonition is of little avail with most of our servants[;] and surrounded as 
they are by Methodists, free blacks and careless coloured Catholics their 
reformation will be difficult. 136 

The notion of the slave as lazy, immoral, inferior, given to theft, and 
incapable of self-rule— in short, completely lacking in the virtues of Christian 
civilization— was at the heart of the ideology of slavery. That the Jesuits had 
subscribed to such notions is not surprising. The long-standing complaints 
regarding the farms reflected the same fundamental sentiment. 

Yet the tone seems to have changed. There is no talk of the slave as 
a fellow Christian or of the responsibility of the master for the slave's 
condition. The slaves were now seen by some as either a hindrance to Jesuit 
ministry or somehow unworthy of the Jesuits' ministrations. How wide- 
spread this notion was is impossible to pin down. The paternalistic image of 
the Jesuit master as "provider, counselor, just and merciful authority" for the 
slave that Mobberly portrayed would continue to exercise an influence in 



135 "St. Joseph's General Charge and Discharge (1830-31)," MPA, 103.5 W7-W16. 

136 "Letter to Peter Kenney, S.J. (c. 1839)," MPA, 103.5 W7-W16. The letter is 
obviously of an earlier date because the slaves were sold in 1838. 



Listening to Our History H* 35 

Jesuit attitudes towards the sale of the slaves, but it would not stop the 
sale. 137 Nor would it argue for emancipation, gradual or otherwise. 

Two developments signaled the death knell of Jesuit slaveholding in 
Maryland. The leadership within the province had passed to a generation 
who sought to be free of the farms and the slaves, and the ability of George- 
town to charge tuition eliminated any need for the farms to support the 
college. The revenues from the sale or rental of the farms would provide the 
province with a nest egg for the future. But what about the slaves? Were 
they to be gradually emancipated? Manumitted wholesale? Or sold along 
with the land? Without the need of their labor for the mission, how would 
the Jesuits see these "servants of the Society"? 

Selling the Slaves 

It is interesting to note that even one as disgruntled as Mobberly felt that 
selling the slaves was a peril to the soul of the slave owner and an 
offense to the Christian conscience. Jesuit paternalism and self-interest 
conspired to undercut the Corporation's policy of gradual emancipation. The 
same dynamics were at work in Mobberly as he expressed his fear that if the 
slaves were sold, they would 

lose those Christian principles which they may have imbibed— to be 
separated, the wife from her husband, the children from their parents. Is 
this Christianity? And will the Planters of Maryland charge their con- 
sciences with deeds so shocking to the feelings of a Christian, and thus 
draw down the curse of God upon themselves and their posterity? Forbid it 
heaven! 138 

Such feelings seem not to have troubled Maryland's new provincial, William 
McSherry. Reporting on all the farms, he advised the sale of the slaves. 
McSherry shared Mobberly's opinion: the slaves cost too much to maintain 
and contributed to the indebtedness of the farms. 139 

According to McSherry, of the forty-five slaves at St. Thomas only 
sixteen were working. If everything was sold, "$1000 could be made from 
the land besides supporting the missionaries. The sale of the servants should 



137 Finn, "Slaves of the Jesuits," 65f. 

138 "MP, Pt. 1," GUA, 82f. 

139 «g t Thomas Manor Report of Income, Expenses, Servants by Wm. McSher- 
ry, S.J. (1833)," "Report of Income, Expenses, Servants at Newtown by Fr. McSherry 
(1833-37), and "Report on St Inigoes (1833-37)," MP A, 99 L 1-4. 



36 * Edward F. Beckett, SJ. 

bring at least $16,000 which would bring $1000 interest." 140 At Newtown, 
only seventeen of thirty-six slaves were working. "If the servants were sold 
they would bring at least $25,000. The interest would be $1100." 141 At St. 
Inigoes, McSherry recommended that all but two or three hundred acres of 
land be sold, "abundantly sufficient to support a priest or two." 142 Of the 
ninety slaves there, only forty-three were working. "The remainder are too 
old or too young to work, but all must be supported, clothed, their doctor's 
fees paid," and so forth. McSherry's report provided him with the informa- 
tion necessary to push the General on the issue of selling the slaves because 
of financial crisis. 

The province also began looking for buyers. A letter from Bishop 
Martin Spalding of Louisville dated March 21, 1830, indicates that two years 
before Kenney's extraordinary consultation, some Maryland Jesuits were 
sounding out suitable buyers for their slaves. Bishop Spalding asks if the 
Jesuits were looking for Catholic buyers and mentions a possible contact in 
Louisville. 143 

In considering the motives for selling the province's slaves, the most 
obvious of explanations should not be overlooked— money. The Jesuits had 
previously sold slaves for financial reasons, in order to pay debts, for exam- 
ple. McSherry's major argument for the sale of the slaves also involved 
finances. But there was an additional reason for his enthusiasm— the schools. 
For McSherry and others, the Jesuits had to choose between the farms and 
the schools. In a letter written just before McSherry was to visit the General 
in Rome, Kenney instructed the former to make arguments for the schools 
and to focus the General's attention on education and the "good in our 
schools." 144 Clearly the schools and the farms were seen as incompatible. 

As Emmett Curran has argued, McSherry and his supporters 
believed "pressing debts, lack of funds, struggling colleges, corrupt slaves— all 
stemmed from the attempt of the Maryland Jesuits to be both priests and 
planters." 145 Thomas Mulledy told the General that it was impossible to 
maintain the farms and Georgetown College (137). Before the First Province 
Congregation in 1835, McSherry had begun to sell slaves, pleading financial 



140 Ibid., "St. Thomas Manor Report." 

141 Ibid., "Report of . . . Newtown." 

142 Ibid., "Report on St. Inigoes." 

143 "Letter from Bishop Martin J. Spalding (1830)," MPA, 112 W0-Z1. 

144 "Instructions from Peter Kenney, S.J., to Wm. McSherry, S.J., re. latter's trip 
to Rome (1832)," MPA, XM1-3. 

145 Curran, "Splendid Poverty," 137. 



Listening to Our History •!• 37 

hardship. He sold at least twenty-five slaves from St. Thomas and St. Inigoes. 
Eleven were sold to one Henry Johnson of Louisiana. 146 Apparently some 
slaves were sold to other Jesuits. In a letter to McSherry, Fr. de Theux of 
Missouri related that 

last spring Fr. Grivel offered me in the name of Fr. Provincial of White 
Marsh some slaves for sale. They were to be paid for as our means would 
allow. I would like to know at your convenience . . . whether we could 
have Ned the Blacksmith, his wife and two or three of their smallest 
children and at what price. ... we do stand in need of additional slaves, 
unless we make a new establishment either among the whites or indians. 147 

The older Jesuit attitude concerning the slave's portability and ability to 
contribute to the mission was evidently still current. And, at first glance, it 
seems that the preference was for keeping a slave family together. However, 
the reference to acquiring "two or three of their smallest children" raises the 
question: Would the Maryland Jesuits divide children from parents in the 
sale of slaves? When and if it came to selling the slaves, how bound would 
the Jesuits be to their own principles? 

The province congregation of 1835 moved to shut down or rent 
some of the farms, sell the property (including the slaves), and concentrate 
Jesuit energies on establishing colleges in such cities as Baltimore, Richmond, 
New York, and Philadelphia. 148 The postulatum to sell the slaves was 
supported by a majority of Maryland Jesuits, with the strongest dissent 
coming from Aloysius Young, McSherry's assistant, and a supporter of the 
older system. 149 Young's position, as Curran relates, represented that of other 
plantation superiors (Young was himself at St. Thomas Manor) and of 
Europeans such as Dzierozynski and Dubuisson, who argued that the selling 
of the slaves would lead to their ruin and give cause for grave scandal, 
especially among the Protestants of the area (140f.). In 1836 Fr. Roothan 
wrote to McSherry that "it would be better to suffer financial disaster than 
suffer the loss of all our souls with the sale of the slaves." 150 Two camps had 
emerged within the province: those in favor of selling the slaves and the 
farms and moving into new apostolic ventures, and those who felt that some 
form of plantation system offered the best framework for continued apos- 
tolic success and satisfied the minimal requirements of justice. 



146 Finn, "Slaves of the Jesuits," 123f. 

147 "Letter from Fr. de Theux to Fr. McSherry (1834)," MPA, XXX Gl-9. 

148 Curran, "Splendid Poverty," 1 3 8 f . , and Finn, "Slaves of the Jesuits," 122. 

149 Curran, "Splendid Poverty," 139. 

150 Finn, "Slaves of the Jesuits," 141. 



38 * Edward F. Beckett, S.J. 

Stephen Dubuisson, the cautious voice of the 1832 consultors' 
meeting, wrote that the province's slaves "would despair when they should 
be dragged from their ancient manors and churches. Isn't the very idea of 
being forced to go with new masters a cruel one?" 151 The selling of some 
slaves by McSherry and the rumors of an impending sale of all the slaves had 
an undeniable impact upon the slaves themselves. As one Jesuit wrote in 
July of 1832, "There is only one thing that makes me gloomy and it is the 
present situation of our servants. They have all heard that they are sold, or 
are to be sold, and that they are to be carried out of the State. This has put 
a most unpleasant feeling on them." 152 The slave as the object of pity and 
sympathy was the reverse image of the slave as the object of contempt. As 
William Westermann has written, 

There has seldom been in history . . . any slaveholding community in 
which the theoretical slave— that is, a thing totally devoid of legal personal- 
ity and without possessions of his own— has really existed in the actual 
practice of that community. . . . This inability to coerce human beings into 
a situation of total slave subjection produces a fundamental contradiction 
inherent in the very structure of the institution of slavery. 153 

Daily contact with slaves, the dependence on their labor, and the skilled 
positions which they filled all served to erode the ideology of slavery's claim 
that the slave was not really a human being. The Christian recognition of 
the slave's status as a member of the Body of Christ only served to further 
underscore the contradictory reality at the core of the system. It was pre- 
cisely this that fueled many of the Christian critiques of slavery, Catholic 
and Protestant. 

Many Jesuits had developed close ministerial ties to slaves and free 
blacks. Thomas Lilly operated a school and enrolled blacks in the sodality at 
Fredrick, Maryland, in the 1830s, and he attempted to establish a school and 
sodality for free blacks in Philadelphia in 1833. 154 Charles Lancaster taught 
catechism to the slaves at White Marsh and prayed with them nightly (47). 
A nineteenth-century census from one farm records that thirty-seven slave 
children were baptized over a twenty-nine-year period. The record also 
indicates that the marriages of the slaves were stable and long lasting. 155 



151 Quoted in Curran, "Splendid Poverty," 141. 

152 "Letter from Peter Havermans to George Fenwick (1832)," MPA, 210 Pl-10. 

153 William Westermann, "Slavery and the Elements of Freedom in Ancient 
Greece," in Slavery in Classical Antiquity, ed. Moses Finley (Cambridge: Heffer, 1960), 18. 

154 Finn, "Slaves of the Jesuits," 46. 

155 "List of Negro Children Baptized (1806-1835)," MPA, 100.5 A3-L5. Out of 
the thirty-seven children baptized, only two were illegitimate. 



Listening to Our History •%• 39 

According to the Catholic moral doctrine that legitimated slavery, the sale of 
the slaves, especially without guarantees as to their continued religious 
practice, represented a departure from religious obligation to provide for the 
temporal and spiritual welfare of the slave. 

In 1836 Dubuisson wrote from Rome to McSherry summing up the 
pros and cons of the possible sale. As factors weighing heavily in favor of 
the sale, he lists the success of Bohemia after selling slaves and reducing the 
size of the farm, the danger of slave insurrection amidst reports of slave 
discontent, the inability of the farms to support the province's ministries, 
the incompatibility of farm management and the spiritual life, and the 
readiness of two buyers to allow the slaves free practice of their religion. He 
then goes on to list the loss of the farms, the negative publicity, the financial 
risk involved, and the objection of the slaves to being sold, especially being 
sold further South, as notable contraindications to the sale. 156 

McSherry continued to press the General for permission to sell the 
slaves in view of the province's precarious financial position. In October of 
1836 Fr. Roothan approved the sale of the slaves, subject to the following 
conditions. First, the slaves were to be guaranteed the free exercise of their 
religion. Second, the slaves were not to be separated indiscriminately. The 
buyer must agree that husbands and wives and children and parents would 
never be separated. Third, slaves with spouses on other plantations were to 
be sold together or not separated at all. If necessary, the province should sell 
a slave to the neighboring plantation where his or her spouse resided. 
Fourth, the old and the sick were not to be sold and were to be provided 
for "as justice and charity demand." Finally, the money received was not to 
be spent making further purchases for the province or its works, nor was it 
to be used to settle debts. Instead, it was to be invested in "capital which 
fructifies," in particular, for the education of Jesuits in formation (127f.). The 
panic of 1837 prevented McSherry from selling immediately, and poor health 
forced him to step down and accept the post of rector at Georgetown. He 
was replaced by Thomas Mulledy in October 1837. 

By June of 1838 Mulledy was deep in negotiations to sell the slaves 
en masse. He wrote to McElroy, "I am now so busily engaged in trading off 
our negroes. ... I find it difficult to dispose of our servants to persons in a 
Catholic neighbourhood— I have now a fine opportunity if we agree on 
prices." 157 He goes on to write that the buyer wanted to pay an average of 
$345 per slave, while Mulledy wanted $400. Later that month, Mulledy 
agreed to sell 272 slaves to the former governor of Louisiana, Henry John- 



156 Finn, "Slaves of the Jesuits," 125f. 

157 "Letter from Mulledy to McElroy (1838)," MPA, 212 Pl-13. 



40 * Edward F. Beckett, SJ. 

son, and his partner, Jess Batey, for $115,000. Johnson had previously 
bought slaves from the province in 1835. He and Batey paid $25,000 down 
in the 1838 sale and were given ten years to pay off their debt. 158 The slaves 
were almost all removed to Louisiana by November of 1838. Mulledy wrote 
as follows to McElroy that month: 

Thank God I have succeeded in getting on board ship all the negroes except 
those who are married off the farm— Gov. Johnson wished, very prudently, 
to leave those to see if he could purchase their wives or husbands, as the 
case may be — we start this week together to visit all the masters. . . . This 
next tour will I hope be the last which I have to take regarding the Ne- 
groes. 159 

The Aftermath of the Sale: Mulledy's Disgrace 

Mulledy wrote to Roothan that Catholics of southern Maryland 
approved of the sale and that, while some Jesuits on the farms 
were not happy with the sale, he hoped that they would, in time, 
become better Jesuits as a result of it. 160 This was, however, far from Mulle- 
dy's last dealing with the controversial question of selling the slaves. He 
would have to make one more trip, a trip from which he would return only 
after three years of humiliation and exile. 

It is important to note the scale of Jesuit slaveholding. The Society 
was one of the larger slaveholders in America. 161 The mass sale of almost all 
its slaves caused an immediate reaction within both the order and the wider 
Catholic community. In Louisiana all seemed well. Henry Johnson wrote to 
McSherry in 1839 that "[t]he slaves purchased from Rev. Mulledy and 
transported to this State are all healthy and were pleased with their situa- 



158 See Curran, "Splendid Poverty," 142, and "Certificate of mortgage belonging 
to Henry Johnson (1839)," and "Paper Documents Sale of 56 Negroes (1838)," MPA, 112 
T0-T6. MPA, 112 S1-S4, includes later documents recording the details of the sale. See 
"Certificate of Terrebonne Parish Provides Names of 64 Slaves (1843)," "Mortgage 
Certificate of Parish of Pointe Coupee concerning Henry Johnson (1843)," and "Letter to 
Mr. Vespre (1843)," which includes "L. Janin's Memorandum (1843)," a judge's documenta- 
tion of the sale. It is noted in this document that "the Rev. Thomas Mulledy was not the 
real owner of the slaves. . . . Georgetown College was the real proprietor." 

159 "Letter from T. Mulledy to J. McElroy Georgetown to Willings Alley 
(1838)," MPA, 212 Ml-12. 

160 Curran, "Splendid Poverty," 142. 

161 Finn, "Slaves of the Jesuits," 11. As late as 1850 only fifty-six slaveholders in 
the United States owned more than three hundred slaves. 



Listening to Our History 4* 41 

tion." 162 Opinion in Maryland, however, varied. While Mulledy thought the 
sale successful, others were not so sure. One of the Jesuits who had initially 
supported the sale noted that 

all our people who had married out of our farms have been sold to the 
masters of their husbands or wifes [sic], or to the next neighbours of them, 
so that husbands and wives are together, but some children who could not 
be sold with their mothers, have been sent with the others to Louisiana. 
There remain on our farms only few old people, well provided for their 
lifetimes. 163 

It was this scene which outraged Thomas Lilly, then assigned to St. Thomas 
Manor. Lilly wrote to the General that the slaves "were dragged off by force 
to the ship and led off to Louisiana. The danger to their souls is certain." 164 
Lilly went on to inform the General that the majority of the province was 
appalled at the sale. Peter Havermans joined Lilly's opinion and in a separate 
letter to the General wrote of the "heroic courage and Christian resignation" 
the slaves displayed. In a particularly pathetic scene, an old woman begged 
Havermans to tell her what she had done to deserve such a fate. "All the 
others came to me seeking rosaries. ... If ever any one had reason to 
despair, it was I." 165 These reports, along with others, reflected badly on 
Mulledy. The widespread sense of scandal among the Catholics of the area 
led the archbishop of Baltimore, John Eccleston, to pen a letter to Roothan 
denouncing the sale of the slaves. 166 The General in turn sought either to 
remove Mulledy, dismiss him, or force him to resign as provincial. Mulledy 
went to Rome to defend himself and did not return from Europe for three 
years. 167 In the aftermath of this imbroglio, after the Civil War the majority 
of Maryland provincials were European immigrants. 168 



162 "Letter from. Johnson, Gov. of Louisiana, to Fr. Wm. McSherry (1839)," 
MPA, 212 GO-11. 

163 "Letter on Disposition of Conewago Land, Fr. Grivel to Fr. Lancaster 
(1839)," MPA, 212 GO-11. 

164 Quoted in Curran, "Splendid Poverty," 142f. 

165 Ibid., 143, and n. 84. 

166 Ibid., 144f. It should be noted that Eccleston had proposed to McSherry in 
1837 that the farms and slaves be sold. 

167 Ibid., 145. In 1840 Grivel wrote to Lancaster that Mulledy was in Europe 
serving as "chaplain to 49 English Catholics" ("Letter from Grivel to Lancaster [1840]," 
MPA, 213 W0-11). 

168 See Curran, American Jesuit Spirituality, 22-25, on Roman suspicion of 
Maryland. 



42 ■*■ Edward F. Beckett, SJ. 

Clearly the break-up of families was a crucial factor in Mulledy's 
disgrace, as was the general sense of the sale's impropriety. The slave's status 
as a member of the Catholic community and the notion of basic justice that 
should govern relationships between slave and master led to an outcry 
against the pragmatic apostolic strategies of the architects of the sale. Evi- 
dently McSherry and Mulledy had underestimated the widespread and deep 
feeling of so many Catholics associated with the farms, slaveholding, and the 
Jesuit mission. Benedict Fenwick, then the bishop of Boston, wrote these 
lines to George Fenwick, his brother and a Jesuit at Georgetown: 

Poor Negroes! I pity them, but I suppose the measure has become a neces- 
sary one from the strong feeling manifested of late against slavery by a large 
party in the U[nited] States, whose efforts are continually executed to effect 
their emancipation. I hope, however, as they are all Catholics, every 
security has been given by the purchasers that they shall have the benefit of 
their religion in whatever place they may be located, and the attendance of 
a priest. How is the purchase money to be appropriated or received? 169 

The great majority of Jesuit slaves went to Louisiana. Some, how- 
ever, never left Maryland. Many of the aged and infirm continued to reside 
at the farms where they had worked. A few ran away, apparently with the 
approval and encouragement of their Jesuit masters. 170 Henry Johnson had 
promised to allow the slaves to practice their religion and to provide for that 
practice. In a letter written during the month of the sale, it is clear that the 
Jesuits were confident of Johnson's intentions in this regard. "Governor 
Johnson will have a priest at his plantation every Sunday and St. [saint] 
days. These last years the priest has been there 35 times and he paid him 
$135 for his trouble. It's a fact." 171 In 1840, Fidele de Grivel wrote to. Charles 
Lancaster that 

Rev. M. Bomiller, P.P. at Donaldsonville, he goes once a month to Gov. 
Johnson's farm 12 miles distant, where all our people from W[hite] Marsh 
and St. Inigoes are. He praises them much. He married 2 couples on Easter 
Sunday. Gov. Johnson did not and will not sell any, but this summer will 
build a chapel for them, and even pay a priest, if he can get one. The last 
year they were unhappy, on account of a cruel overseer, but now they are 
pleased in their new place. 172 

Apparently the commitment to weekly service had gone by the wayside. 
The question naturally arises, how well did Johnson keep his other promises? 



169 "Letter from B. Fenwick to G. Fenwick (1838)," MPA, 212 Nl-4. 

170 Curran "Splendid Poverty," 143. 

171 "Letter from Fr. Grivel to Lancaster (1838)," MPA, 212 Ml-12. 

172 "Letter from Grivel to Lancaster (1840)," MPA, 213 W0-11. 



Listening to Our History 4* 43 

In 1848 a lengthy letter from Cincinnati arrived for Mulledy at 
Georgetown. In it Fr. James van de Velde, S.J., reported that while visiting a 
former student of his at St. Louis University, he discovered that this student, 
William Thompson, was "owner of a great number of the coloured people 
that once belonged to the Province of Maryland." 173 Apparently Johnson and 
Thompson were in some kind of partnership and "about one-third of the 
whole number" of slaves were living on Thompson's plantation. Van de 
Velde visited with the slaves and wrote that "they have scarcely any chance 
to attend their religious duties and the children, several of them not yet 
baptized, grow up without any religious instruction whatever." The nearest 
chapel was ten miles away and the sermons were always in French, which 
none of the slaves understood. Van de Velde added that "some of the 
women told me weeping [emphasis in the original] that they had not been to 
church for more than a year." He goes on to report that the priest cannot 
visit on Sundays, but could come out to the plantation on a weekday. 
However, "the people would have to work, [and] many would not be 
permitted to attend." 

Van de Velde's anger boiled over at one point, and he accused 
Johnson of bad faith, claiming that the latter had broken the terms of the 
original contract. 

It seems that one of the conditions of the contract yr Reverence made with 
Mr Johnson was that they [the slaves] should have a chapel and that they 
should be permitted to attend to their religious duties. The above account 
must convince yr Reverence that this condition is not complied with. . . . 
Besides, at least one-half, probably two-thirds of the colored that have come 
down from Maryland live on two other plantations, far distant from any 
church . . . where they never see a Catholic priest. 

Van de Velde enlisted Thompson's wife and some local Catholics in an 
attempt to have a chapel built for the former slaves. He asked Mulledy to 
request $1,000 from the province to help this project succeed. He finally 
ends his letter with the suggestion that the Maryland Jesuits continued to 
have some responsibility for the spiritual welfare of their former slaves. 

I am of the opinion that the Prov[ince] of Md is in conscience bound to 
contribute to it, and thus to provide for the salvation of those poor people 
who are now utterly neglected. . . . Justice as well as charity require that 
their former masters should step in and with other well-disposed persons to 
procure them the means of salvation. . . . lose no time in providing for 
those poor abandoned people who though neglected are still firmly attached 
to their religion. 



173 "Letter from James van de Velde to T. Mulledy (1848)," MPA, 216 Tl-12. All 
the citations from Van de Velde are from the same document. 



44 * Edward F. Beckett, SJ. 



In 1849 Henry Johnson sold half of his estate, including the slaves, 
to one John Thompson. 174 In 1852 the latter assured the Jesuits at George- 
town that he intended "to fulfill the promises of Gov. Johnson by erecting a 
little chapel for the Negroes." 175 Charles Lancaster responded that "we are 
much gratified to learn that it is your intention to carry out Gov J's engage- 
ments by erecting a chapel for your Servants." 176 A letter from Henry 
Johnson the year before had not even mentioned a chapel. 177 In eight 
additional letters between Thompson and Lancaster, dating from 1852 to 
1859, no mention is made of the chapel. 178 Van de Velde's letter is the last 
eyewitness report we have of the Maryland slaves. Thompson's promise of a 
chapel is the last mention of them. 

What of the farms? Peter Havermans wrote in 1841 that "the 
money spent on the farms since 1839 ought to have placed everything in 
first-rate order, and now the buildings are . . . badly done, and several new 
ones are still wanted." 179 John McElroy, reporting the following year, wrote 
of the "great uncertainty of revenue" and deficient crops on the farms. He 
recommended leasing the fields and retaining the buildings. 180 That same 
year, McElroy received a request for a field hand from another Jesuit. 181 It 
seems that the sale of the slaves did not immediately solve the problems of 
the farms. 

And the money? Was it used as Fr. Roothan had instructed for the 
education of young Jesuits? Yes and no. $8,000 settled the archbishop of 
Baltimore's claims against the Society's lands by providing him with a 
pension, $17,000 went to pay debts incurred at Georgetown College during a 
building campaign, and the remaining $90,000 was invested for the support 



174 "Letter from C. C Lancaster, S.J., to Th. F. Mulledy, S.J., (1859)," MP A, 112 
B1-P6, and "New Arrangements Made with Henry Johnson regarding the Mortgages 
(1844)," MP A, 112 R5-R6. 

175 "Letter from John Thompson to Charles Stonestreet, S.J. (1852)," MPA, 112 
B1-P6. 

176 "Letter from C. C. Lancaster to John Thompson (1852)," MPA, 112 B1-P6. 

177 "Letter from Henry Johnson, Governor of Louisiana, to Charles C. Lancas- 
ter, S J. (1851)," MPA, 112 B-P6. 

178 MPA, 112 B1-P6. 

179 "Report of St. Inigoes Manor (1841)," MPA, 99 Ll-4. 

180 "Notes on the Present State of the Farms of St. Inigoes Manor, St. Thomas 
Manor, and White Marsh by John McElroy (1841-42)," MPA, 99 Ll-4. 

181 "Memorandum for Fr. McElroy as Requested (1842)," MPA, 99 Ll-4. 



Listening to Our History *k 45 

of Jesuits in formation. 182 The selling of the slaves was a personal disaster for 
Mulledy, solved few if any of the financial problems of the province, and 
was seen as a scandal by many within the Church and the Society. It was, 
without question, a disaster for the slaves. 

Conclusion: History, Discernment, and Inculturation 

As Randall Miller pointed out, the Catholic Church's ministry to 
black Catholics was a "failed mission." 183 Seen against the back- 
ground of the success of the American church's response to immi- 
gration and its consistent striving to evangelize Native Americans, Catholic 
ministry to free blacks and slaves was never high in priority. As Cyprian 
Davis put it, "The story of African American Catholicism is the story of a 
people who obstinately clung to a faith that gave them sustenance, even 
when it did not always make them feel welcome." 184 

Although the Society of Jesus was not the only religious community 
to own slaves, it was the most visible and prosperous. 185 Jesuit ministry to 
the slaves was marked by a paternalism that, at best, somewhat tempered 
slavery's harsh regime. At worst, it was tainted by all that was evil in 
American slaveholding. For the most part, the Jesuits treated their slaves 
much as did the other American Catholic slaveholders. While individual 
Jesuits may have developed close ministerial ties to blacks, there was no 
concerted effort on the part of the Society of Jesus as a whole to respond to 
the needs of black Catholics in America, free or slave. In fact, apart from 
inconsistently applying minimal standards of justice in their treatment of 
their slaves, the Jesuits acquiesced in the peculiar institution of American 
slavery. No Jesuit voiced public opposition to slavery. There were, however, 
nineteenth-century Jesuits who spoke in favor of slavery and against aboli- 
tion. 186 While the abolitionist movement often allied itself with the worst 



182 Curran, "Splendid Poverty," 142. 

183 Randall Miller, "The Failed Mission: The Catholic Church and Black 
Catholics in the Old South," in Catholics in the Old South, 149-70. 

184 History of Black Catholics, 259. 

185 Yhg Vincentians, Sulpicians, Ursulines, Carmelites, Sisters of Charity, Sisters 
of Loretto, Religious of the Sacred Heart, Visitation Sisters, and Dominicans also owned 
slaves during the antebellum period (see Davis, History of Black Catholics, 37-39). 

186 John Ryder of Georgetown College addressed an audience in Richmond in 
1835 and defended slavery as a positive benefit to the slaves, while arguing that abolition- 
ism was incompatible with Catholicism (see the Richmond Enquirer, Sept. 4, 1835). I am 
thankful to Fr. Gerald Fogarty, S.J., of the University of Virginia for passing on Ryder's 



46 * Edward F. Beckett, SJ. 

form of anti-Catholic nativism, the failure of any North American Jesuit to 
protest in principle against slavery is difficult to reconcile with the example 
of Claver and Sandoval in South America. 187 

Ironically, perhaps, the first graduate of Georgetown, William 
Gaston, opposed slavery publicly as early as 1832 in a commencement 
address delivered at the University of North Carolina. 188 As a member of 
Congress and a justice on North Carolina's supreme court, Gaston also 
campaigned in support of granting free blacks the vote; and in his legal 
decisions he defended the rights of blacks, both free and slave (65). As a 
prominent American Catholic proponent of racial justice, Gaston contrasts 
sharply with his mentors. Why was it that the Maryland Jesuits acquiesced 
so easily in the American slave system? 

Financial expediency and an uncritical acceptance of American 
cultural attitudes towards slavery and Catholic moral doctrine were factors 
influencing the Maryland Jesuits and rationalizing their practice of slavehold- 
ing. The example of the Maryland Quakers, who recognized the unchristian 
nature of slavery and manumitted their slaves in the 1790s at great personal 
expense, was ignored, envied, or condemned, but never imitated. 189 The 
failure of the Corporation of Roman Catholic Clergymen's policy of gradual 
emancipation represents one of the great lost opportunities of American 
Catholicism. The sale of the slaves by the Maryland Province represents the 
nadir of Jesuit mission and ministry among the slaves. In the final analysis, 
despite persistent anti-Catholic harassment, the Maryland Jesuits were all too 
comfortable in the dominant slaveholding culture of America. In their 
uncritical acceptance and practice of slavery, they can be accused of harming 
the very souls they sought to help. 

One cannot but reflect how differently it might have turned out if 
during the late eighteenth century and until 1838, when the province sold 
the slaves, the Maryland Jesuits had been more alert to the impending 
collapse of the slaveholding tradition. Tragically, it would seem, they failed 
to observe and evaluate critically the evolving situation. Yet in our own day 
a variety of voices call out to us and clamor for our attention. We have 
sought to respond to some in our recent general congregation; one thinks of 



address to me. 

187 See Hennesy, American Catholics, 118-27 and 145-48, on anti-Catholic 
nativism and abolitionism. 

188 Davis, History of Black Catholics, 64f. 

189 See Finn, "Slaves of the Jesuits," 140f. 



Listening to Our History •$• 47 

decree 14 as a particular example. 190 Yet even when we acknowledge our 
failings, we must be careful not to do so in such a way as to minimize 
them. 191 This is crucial if we are to hope for reconciliation, especially the 
reconciliation necessary to effect a healing not only within ourselves but 
within those whom we have deeply wounded. Gordon Bennett, former 
novice master and at the time the sole African-American Jesuit in the 
California Province, remarked that 

[o]ur history as Jesuits in America is built upon the rock of slavery, and 
upon the presence of African men and women who were living endow- 
ments by which the ministries of the Society were secured. . . . This seems 
to me to be a history that cries out for reconciliation. 192 

The history of Jesuit slaveholding in Maryland provides an 
important example for contemporary companions of Jesus. In particular, 
it underlines how absolutely necessary it is that we critically discern 
issues having to do with inculturation. If Jesuit ministry is to be an 
authentic ministry of consolation— of "living open to God's action" 193 — it 
must seek to discern how a given culture shapes the religious imagina- 
tion's experience of that action. Sensitivity to the role of ideology in the 
shaping of cultural consensus, the role of society in shaping religious 
theory and practice, and the role of religion in the creation of social 
reality are fundamental requirements for authentic discipleship. Histori- 
cally conscious, critically informed discernment is of the utmost impor- 
tance for our current way of proceeding. In the words of the Thirty- 
second General Congregation, "We ourselves share in the blindness and 
injustice of our age. We ourselves stand in need of being evangelized. We 
ourselves need to know how to meet Christ as He works in the world 
through the power of His Spirit. And it is to this world, our world, that 
we are sent." 194 The call to reconciliation, seen against the horizon of 
our history, is the current context of our ministries. The resilience of 
certain patterns of social and economic domination that were served by 
the ideology of slavery are all too familiar to us even today. Our history 



190 "Jesuits and the Situation of Women in Church and Civil Society," in 
Documents of the Thirty-Fourth General Congregation 171-78. 

191 "Our Mission and Culture," in Documents of the Thirty-Fourth General 
Congregation, §91-96 (p. 55). 

192 "Address to the California Province Congregation" (1991), 5. 

193 0'Malley, The First Jesuits, 19. 

194 "Our Mission Today," in Documents of the Thirty-First and Thirty-Second 
General Congregations of the Society of Jesus (St. Louis: Institutes of Jesuit Sources, 1977), 
§72 (p. 418). 



48 * Edward F. Beckett, SJ. 

is both a reality that shapes our present and a resource for shaping our 
future. Appropriating that history as reality and a resource in the 
discernment process is an essential step in meeting the challenge of an 
inculturated evangelization in our own time and in acting to transform 
the structures impeding that evangelization. 



♦ 



Martin E. Palmer, S.J. 

On Giving the Spiritual Exercises 

The Early Jesuit Manuscript Directories 

and the Official Directory of 1599 



Granted that the basic manual for giving the Spiritual Exercises of 
St. Ignatius was always the book of the Exercises itself, Ignatius, his 
associates, and their successors all realized that on many points fuller 
explanation was needed. This need they met with the Directories 
translated by Fr. Palmer in this book. 

It gives us all the supplementary guidelines for giving the Exercises 
which derive from St. Ignatius and other 16th-century Jesuits. Much 
of the material survived only in manuscript form until the last century, 
and appears here in English for the first time. The documents range 
from a simple page of notes by St. Peter Canisius to a full-scale 
handbook by Ignatius's Secretary and long-time collaborator, 
Juan de Polanco. The book concludes with a fresh translation of the 
comprehensive Directory to the Spiritual Exercises published for the 
use of Jesuits in 1599, which served for over three centuries as the 
official guidebook to giving the Exercises. 

For those involved with today's rapid growth in individually directed 
Ignatian retreats, these texts offer unparalleled insight into the original 
practice of the Exercises under St. Ignatius and his associates. 
Spiritual directors, retreat directors, and students of the Spiritual 
Exercises as well as of religious thought in general will not want to be 
without this book. 



Cloth: ISBN 1-880810-17-4 #$42.95 

Paper: ISBN 1-880810-18-2 ♦ $34.95 

Series I, n. 14 ♦ 1996 ♦ PP. ca380+ 



FAITH BEYOND JUSTICE 

WIDENING THE PERSPECTIVE 

by 
Martin R. Tripole, SJ. 



This book examines - in a way both sympathetic and 
critical - the "faith and justice" motif that has 
dominated talk of apostolate and spirituality in many 
contemporary circles. The author concludes that, 
while noble and inspiring, the notion of "justice" is 
inadequate to handle the burden that many of its 
advocates would have it carry. He then suggests an 
alternative criterion for apostolic choices in the 
twentieth century and beyond. 



Pp. vii + 153. ISBN 1-880810-07-7 

$ 14.95 plus postage, paperbound only. 



Available from 

The Institute of Jesuit Sources 

3700 West Pine Boulevard 

St. Louis, MO 63108 

TEL: 314-977-7257/ FAX: 314-977-7263 



Past Issues: Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits 

(For prices, see inside back cover.) 

1/1 Sheets, Profile of the Contemporary Jesuit (Sept. 1969) 

1/2 Ganss, Authentic Spiritual Exercises: History and Terminology (Nov. 1969) 

2/1 Burke, Institution and Person (Feb. 1970) 

2/2 Futrell, Ignatian Discernment (Apr. 1970) 

2/3 Lonergan, Response of the Jesuit as Priest and Apostle (Sept. 1970) 

3/1 Wright, Grace of Our Founder and the Grace of Our Vocation (Feb. 1971) 

3/2 O'Flaherty, Some Reflections on Jesuit Commitment (Apr. 1971) 

3/3 Clarke, Jesuit Commitment— Fraternal Covenant? Haughey, Another Perspective on Religious 

Commitment (June 1971)— OUT OF PRINT 

3/4 Toner, A Method for Communal Discernment of God's Will (Sept. 1971) 

3/5 Sheets, Toward a Theology of the Religious Life (Nov. 1971) 

4/1 Knight, St. Ignatius' Ideal of Poverty (Jan. 1972)— OUT OF PRINT 

4/2 Two Discussions: I. Spiritual Direction, II. Leadership and Authority (Mar. 1972) 

4/3 Orsy, Some Questions about the Purpose and Scope of the General Congregation (June 1972) 

4/4 Ganss, Wright, O'Malley, O'Donovan, Dulles, On Continuity and Change: A Symposium 

(Oct. 1972) 

4/5 Futrell, Communal Discernment: Reflections on Experience (Nov. 1972) 

5/1-2 O'Flaherty, Renewal: Call and Response (Jan.-Mar. 1973) 

5/3 Arrupe, McNaspy, The Place of Art in Jesuit Life (Apr. 1973) 

5/4 Haughey, The Pentecostal Thing and Jesuits (June 1973) 

5/5 Orsy, Toward a Theological Evaluation of Communal Discernment (Oct. 1973) 

6/1-2 Padberg, The General Congregations of the Society of Jesus: A Brief Survey of Their History 

■ . (Jan.-Mar. 1974)— OUT OF PRINT 

6/3 Knight, Joy and Judgment in Religious Obedience (Apr. 1974) 

6/4 Toner, The Deliberation That Started the Jesuits (June 1974)— OUT OF PRINT 

6/5 Schmitt, The Christ-Experience and Relationship Fostered in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius 

of Loyola (Oct. 1974)— OUT OF PRINT 

7/1 Wright, Ganss, Orsy, On Thinking with the Church Today Qan. 1975) 

7/2 Ganss, Christian Life Communities from the Sodalities (Mar. 1975) 

7/3 Connolly, Contemporary Spiritual Direction: Scope and Principles (June 1975) 

7/4 Clarke, Ignatian Spirituality and Societal Consciousness; Orsy, Faith and Justice: Some 

Reflections (Sept. 1975)— OUT OF PRINT 

7/5 Buckley, The Confirmation of a Promise; Padberg, Continuity and Change in General 

Congregation XXXII (Nov. 1975) 

8/1 O'Neill, Acatamiento: Ignatian Reverence (Jan. 1976) 

8/2-3 De la Costa, Sheridan, and others, On Becoming Poor: A Symposium on Evangelical Poverty 

(Mar.-May 1976) 

8/4 Faricy, Jesuit Community: Community of Prayer (Oct. 1976) 

8/5 Buckley, Jesuit Priesthood: Its Meaning and Commitments (Dec. 1976)— OUT OF PRINT 

9/1-2 Becker, Changes in U.S. Jesuit Membership, 1958-75; Others, Reactions and Explanations 

(Jan.-Mar. 1977) 

9/3 Harvanek, The Reluctance to Admit Sin (May 1977)— OUT OF PRINT 

9/4 Connolly, Land, Jesuit Spiritualities and the Struggle for Social Justice (Sept. 1977). 

9/5 Gill, A Jesuit's Account of Conscience (Nov. 1977) 

10/1 Kammer, "Burn-Out"— Dilemma for the Jesuit Social Activist Qan. 1978) 

10/2-3 Barry, Birmingham, Connolly, Fahey, Finn, Gill, Affectivity and Sexuality (Mar.-May 1978) — 

Out of Print 



10/4 Harvanek, Status of Obedience in the Society of Jesus; Others, Reactions to Connolly-Land 

(Sept. 1978) 

10/5 Padberg, Personal Experience and the Spiritual Exercises: The Example of Saint Ignatius (Nov. 

1978)— Out of Print 

11/1 Clancy, Feeling Bad about Feeling Good (Jan. 1979) 

11/2 Maruca, Our Personal Witness as Power to Evangelize Culture (Mar. 1979) 

11/3 Klein, American Jesuits and the Liturgy (May 1979) 

11/4 Buckley, Mission in Companionship (Sept. 1979)— OUT OF PRINT 

11/5 Conwell, The Kamikaze Factor: Choosing Jesuit Ministries (Nov. 1979) 

12/1 Clancy, Veteran Witnesses: Their Experience of Jesuit Life (Jan. 1980)— OUT OF PRINT 

12/2 Henriot, Appleyard, Klein, Living Together in Mission: A Symposium on Small Apostolic 

Communities (Mar. 1980) 

12/3 Conwell, Living and Dying in the Society of Jesus (May 1980) 

12/4-5 Schineller, Newer Approaches to Christology and Their Use in the Spiritual Exercises (Sept. -Nov. 

1980) 

13/1 Peter, Alcoholism in Jesuit Life (Jan. 1981) 

13/2 Begheyn, A Bibliography on St. Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises (Mar. 1981)— OUT OF PRINT 

13/3 Ganss, Towards Understanding the Jesuit Brothers' Vocation (May 1981) 

13/4 Reites, St. Ignatius of Loyola and the Jews (Sept. 1981) 

13/5 O'Brien, The Jesuits and Catholic Higher Education (Nov. 1981)— OUT OF PRINT 

14/1 O'Malley, The Jesuits, St. Ignatius, and the Counter Reformation (Jan. 1982) 

14/2 Dulles, St. Ignatius and Jesuit Theological Tradition (Mar. 1982) 

14/3 Robb, Conversion as a Human Experience (May 1982)— OUT OF PRINT 

14/4 Gray, An Experience in Ignatian Government (Sept. 1982) 

14/5 Ivern, The Future of Faith and Justice: Review of Decree Four (Nov. 1982) 

15/1 O'Malley, The Fourth Vow in Its Ignatian Context (Jan. 1983) 

15/2 Sullivan and Faricy, On Making the Spiritual Exercises for Renewal of Jesuit Charisms (Mar. 

1983) 

15/3-4 Padberg, The Society True to Itself: A Brief History of the 32nd General Congregation of the 

Society of Jesus (May-Sept. 1983) 

15/5-16/1 Tetlow, Jesuits' Mission in Higher Education (Nov. 1983-Jan. 1984) 

16/2 O'Malley, To Travel to Any Part of the World: Jeronimo Nadal and the Jesuit Vocation (Mar. 

1984) 

16/3 O'Hanlon, Integration of Christian Practices: A Western Christian Looks East (May 1984) 

16/4 Carlson, "A Faith Lived Out of Doors": Ongoing Formation (Sept. 1984) 

16/5 Kinerk, Eliciting Great Desires: Their Place in the Spirituality of the Society of Jesus (Nov. 1984) 

17/1 Spohn, St. Paul on Apostolic Celibacy and the Body of Christ (Jan. 1985) 

17/2 Daley, "In Ten Thousand Places": Christian Universality and the Jesuit Mission (Mar. 1985) 

17/3 Tetlow, Dialogue on the Sexual Maturing of Celibates (May 1985) 

17/4 Spohn, Coleman, Clarke, Henriot, Jesuits and Peacemaking (Sept. 1985) 

17/5 Kinerk, When Jesuits Pray: A Perspective on the Prayer of Apostolic Persons (Nov. 1985) 

18/1 Gelpi, The Converting Jesuit (Jan. 1986). 

18/2 Beirne, Compass and Catalyst: The Ministry of Administration. (Mar. 1986) 

18/3 McCormick, Bishops as Teachers and Jesuits as Listeners (May 1986) 

18/4 McDermott, With Him, In Him: Graces of the Spiritual Exercises (Sept. 1986)— OUT OF PRFNT 

18/5 Tetlow, The Transformation of Jesuit Poverty (Nov. 1986). 

19/1 Staudenmaier, United States Technology and Adult Commitment (Jan. 1987) 

19/2 Appleyard, Languages We Use: Talking about Religious Experience (Mar. 1987) 

19/3 Harmless and Gelpi, Priesthood Today and the Jesuit Vocation (May 1987) 

19/4 Haight, Foundational Issues in Jesuit Spirituality (Sept. 1987)— OUT OF PRINT 

19/5 Endean, Who Do You Say Ignatius Is? Jesuit Fundamentalism and Beyond (Nov. 1987) 

20/1 Brackley, Downward Mobility: Social Implications of St. Ignatius's Two Standards (Jan. 1988) 



20/2 Padberg, How We Live Where We Live (Mar. 1988) 

20/3 Hayes, Padberg, Staudenmaier, Symbols, Devotions, and Jesuits (May 1988) 

20/4 McGovern, Jesuit Education and Jesuit Spirituality (Sept. 1988) 

20/5 Barry, Jesuit Formation Today: An Invitation to Dialogue and Involvement (Nov. 1988) 

21/1 Wilson, Where Do We Belong? United States Jesuits and Their Memberships (Jan. 1989) 

21/2 Demoustier, Calvez, et al., The Disturbing Subject: The Option for the Poor (Mar. 1989) 

21/3 Soukup, Jesuit Response to the Communication Revolution (May 1989) 

21/4 Tetlow, The Fundamentum: Creation in the Principle and Foundation (Sept. 1989) 

21/5 Past and Present Seminar Members, Jesuits Praying: Personal Reflections (Nov. 1989)— OUT OF 

Print 

22/1 Carroll, The Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life (Jan. 1990) 

22/2 Bracken, Jesuit Spirituality from a Process Prospective (March 1990) 

22/3 Shepherd, Fire for a Weekend: An Experience of the Exercises (May 1990) 

22/4 O'Sulhvan, Trust Your Feelings, but Use Your Head (Sept. 1990) 

22/5 Coleman, A Company of Critics: Jesuits and the Intellectual Life (Nov. 1990) 

23/1 Houdek, The Road Too Often Traveled (Jan. 1991) 

23/2 DiGiacomo, Ministering to the Young (March 1991) 

23/3 Begheyn and Bogart, A Bibliography on St. Ignatius's Spiritual Exercises (May 1991) 

23/4 Shelton, Reflections on the Mental Health of Jesuits (Sept. 1991) 

23/5 Toolan, "Nature Is a Heraclitean Fire" (Nov. 1991) 

24/1 Houdek, Jesuit Prayer and Jesuit Ministry: Context and Possibilities (Jan. 1992) 

24/2 Smolich, Testing the Water: Jesuits Accompanying the Poor (March 1992) 

24/3 Hassel, Jesus Christ Changing Yesterday, Today, and Forever (May 1992) 

24/4 Shelton, Toward Healthy Jesuit Community Living (Sept. 1992) 

24/5 Cook, Jesus' Parables and the Faith That Does Justice (Nov. 1992) 

25/1 Clancy, Saint Ignatius as Fund-Raiser (Jan. 1993)— OUT OF PRINT 

25/2 Donahue, What Does the Lord Require? (March 1993)— ONCE AGAIN AVAILABLE 

25/3 Padberg, Ignatius, the Popes, and Realistic Reverence (May 1993) 

25/4 Stahel, Toward General Congregation 34 (Sept. 1993) 

25/5 Baldovin, Christian Liturgy: An Annotated Bibliography (Nov. 1993) 

26/1 Tetlow, The Most Postmodern Prayer (Jan. 1994) 

26/2 Murphy, The Many Ways of Justice (March 1994) 

26/3 Staudenmaier, To Fall in Love with the World (May 1994) 

26/4 Foley, Stepping into the River (Sept. 1994) 

26/5 Landy, Myths That Shape Us (Nov. 1994) 

27/1 Daley, "To Be More like Christ" (Jan. 1995) 

27/2 Schmidt, Portraits and Landscapes (March 1995) 

27/3 Stockhausen, I'd Love to, but I Don't Have the Time (May 1995) 

27/4 Anderson, Jesuits in Jail, Ignatius to the Present (Sept. 1995) 

27/5 Shelton, Friendship in Jesuit Life (Nov. 1995) 

28/1 Begheyn, Bibliography on the History of the Jesuits (Jan. 1996) 

28/2 Veale, Saint Ignatius Speaks about "Ignatian Prayer" (March 1996) 

28/3 Clooney, In Ten Thousand Places, in Every Blade of Grass (May 1996) 

28/4 Starkloff, "As Different As Night and Day" (Sept. 1996) 

28/5 Beckett, Listening to Our History (Nov. 1996) 



Philip Caraman, S.J. 

A Study in Friendship: 

St. Robert Southwell and Henry Garnet 



This character study attempts to enter into the mind 
and heart of a brilliant, attractive, and astonishingly 
brave young Elizabethan Jesuit, Robert Southwell, 
who was also a poet, a master of prose, and a 
martyr. He had a remarkable capacity for 
friendship, a subject on which he dwelt in his verse, 
his prose works, his meditations, and his letters. 
Among his dearest friends was Henry Garnet, a 
fellow Jesuit. Together they shared mortal dangers 
and a common ideal of religious commitment, both 
often described and expressed in their letters. 
Southwell's poems form a considerable part of this 
book, and they are often set in the framework of 
Garner's letters, many of which were written to 
Claudio Aquaviva, superior general of the Jesuits and also 
a friend of them both. Robert Southwell's mother had been 
a playmate of Queen Elizabeth I; Sir Robert Cecil was his 
cousin. Yet as an English Jesuit priest he suffered torture for 
three years and in 1595, four hundred years ago, he was 
hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn. A few years later, 
in 1606, in St. Paul's Churchyard in London, Garnet suffered 
the same fate for the same commitment. 

The book will be of interest to anyone who appreciates the 
joys of friendship and especially to historians (particularly 
those of Elizabethan England), students of English literature, 
religious sociologists, and historians and theoreticians of the 
religious life. 

Paper: ISBN 1-880810-15-8 ♦ $14.95 
Series IV, n.16 ♦ 1995 ♦ PP. xii + 124 



SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION, EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 1996 



> U.S. JESUITS: 

An annual subscription is provided by the ten United States provinces 
for U.S. Jesuits living in the United States and U.S. Jesuits who are still 
members of a U.S. province but living outside the United States. 



> ALL OTHER SUBSCRIPTIONS: 

One-year subscription rates: 

United States $15.00 

Canada and Mexico $20.00 

All other foreign destinations $22.00 

*** All payments must be in U.S. funds. *** 



> CHANGE-OF-ADDRESS INFORMATION 

Change-of-address information (please include former address label 
if possible) should be sent to 

** ADDRESS CORRECTION** 

Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits 
3700 West Pine Boulevard 
St. Louis, MO 63108 



> SINGLE ISSUES (Current or Past): 

The price for single copies of current or past issues is $2.50, plus 
postage and handling charges. Double issues (for example, 5/1-2, 8/2-3, 9/1-2, 
etc.) are $5.00 each, plus postage and handling. 



r 



An Ignatian Concordance 

Ignacio Echarte, SJ. - Editor 

• Every word in the Writings of St. Ignatius listed 
alphabetically in its original language (Spanish, 
Latin or Italian) 

• Text location of every word identified 

• Every word set in context of phrase in which it 
occurs 

• Texts of the Writings of St. Ignatius included: 

Spiritual Exercises/ Constitutions/ Autobiography 

Spiritual Diary / Directories of the Exercises 

Deliberation of the First Fathers / Deliberation on Poverty 

Founding Papal Documents 

20 4-1448 pages / ISBN 84-271-2020-6 / Clothbound 
$ 59.95 plus shipping 

Published by MENSAJERO SAL TERRAE 

in cooperation with 

THE INSTITUTE OF JESUIT SOURCES 

3700 West Pine Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63108 
Tel: 314-977-7257/ FAX: 314-977-7263 



The Seminar on Jesuit Spirituality 

3700 West Pine Blvd. 
St. Louis, Missouri 63108 



Non-Profit 

Organization 

U.S. POSTAGE 

PAID 

St.Louis, Missouri 

Permit No. 63 



02167/USA - Expires: 97/01 

Thomas P. O'Neill Jr. Library 
Serials Department 
BOSTON COLLEGE 
Chestnut Hill, MA 02167 



DOES NOT CIRCULATE